how long does hantavirus survive in mouse droppings

  • 3 min read
  • Feb 16, 2020

Deer mice: Cute, but potentially deadly carriers of hantavirus ...
Deer mice: Cute, but potentially deadly carriers of hantavirus …

For hantavirus to cause HPS, the virus must travel from mice that carry it to someone. A common way this happens is when a person breathes in hantavirus from the air.

Let’s create an imaginary scenario and go through the process step by step. Say you have storage space in your home that you almost never get in. Keep your old furniture there, old newspapers and magazines, and so on.

At some point, a group of deer mice find their way into the room, looking for a place to build a nest. They found their way into the room through the crack-deer mice can enter through small holes like buttons! Some rats chewing through the fabric of the old chairs and build nests in it. Other mice broken bits of magazines and building nests under the torn pieces.

Some of the mice were infected with hantavirus. Infected mice did not show signs of illness. In fact, the virus apparently does not make them sick at all; it only stayed in their bodies. However, the virus is shed continuously from them into the feces and urine left around the room, and in their saliva, which dries to whatever they have to chew, such as nesting material. In this environment, the virus can live for several days.

Meanwhile, you decide to clean up your storage space. You go in, spend a few minutes moving boxes and furniture. Mice hear you coming and hurried away, leaving a trail of fresh urine!

Since you found rat droppings and some furniture stuffing rats have been used as nesting material, you get a broom and sweep the mess. When you are moving and sweeping, small particles of fresh urine, feces and saliva, the virus in it, kicked into the air. It is the small particles that you breathe and this is the beginning of becoming ill with HPS.

Because the virus is spread when virus particles containing stirred up into the air, a prevention HPS important tactic in the area showed signs of rodents is to avoid any action that dust raise and carefully wet the area down with disinfectant. The less chance the virus should get into the air, the less chance it will breathe!

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