is there hantavirus in illinois

  • 6 min read
  • Feb 16, 2020

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Hantaviruses are a group of viruses found in wild rodents. While they do not produce disease in rodent hosts, Hantaviruses can cause disease in humans. Viruses are so named because they were first isolated in the laboratory of striped field mice captured near Korea Hantaan River. Over the years, Hantaviruses has been known to cause disease in other regions of the world (Europe and Asia). In 1993, a previously unknown species of virus, which causes infectious disease Hantavirus different other known, identified in the southwestern United States. Since that outbreak, the virus has been identified in more than half the states in the US One of the cases and deaths due to hantavirus were reported in Illinois in 1996 and other cases reported in 2005 survived.

Humans contract hantavirus infection by inhaling dust contaminated by urine, saliva or feces of an infected rodent. Infection also may occur if contaminated material or dust from entering into broken skin or mucous membranes, such as the eyes. Ingesting food or water contaminated by infected mice can cause the disease, too. Hantaviruses can also be transmitted through the bite of an infected rodent. Person-to-person transmission has not been proven in the United States.

hantavirus most recently identified can affect the lungs, so the disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, or HPS. Some types of pneumonia and common respiratory viruses (such as influenza virus) can mimic the symptoms of hantavirus this early, but, fortunately, rare HPS. Symptoms that may develop between five and 42 days after exposure to the virus, including fever, headache, abdominal pain, muscle pain, cough, and nausea and / or vomiting. If people experience flu-like symptoms followed by shortness of breath, she should contact a physician.

The case most likely to occur in rural areas where the deer mouse, which seems to be the main source of the virus in the United States, especially live. Buildings, barns, garages, areas where rubbish or wood piles of existing, or the same location can serve as setting the potential infection of Hantavirus if the site is inhabited by rodents and the condition of the infected favorable for transmission (dry, dusty areas contaminated with rodent droppings ) which exists. Keeping homes and buildings rat-free is a primary prevention measure against this group of viruses.

One of the deaths from hantavirus were reported in Illinois in 1996.

HPS can be a serious, life-threatening diseases. Treatment with ribavirin, a drug used with other Hantaviruses, is being studied but when it has not been proven effective. supportive care for patients with HPS is given in the intensive care unit where the fluid and the blood pressure is maintained with oxygen and mechanical ventilation may be required.

To keep rodents out of the building, you have to create an environment that does not attract them. Deny rat food, water, nesting and entry to the building:

Reduced availability of food and water. Keeping your kitchen clean. Human and pet food store in tightly covered container. Keep leftovers and garbage rat-proof metal or thick plastic containers with tight-fitting lid. Bulk animal food store at least 100 feet from home in a container with a tight lid. Do not let pets or pet food to sit outside. repair leaky faucet that can provide water for rodents.

Remove the nesting site near the building. Keeping your lawn mowed; tall grass and weeds make excellent habitats for rodents. If possible, follow the “100 foot rule”: garden plants and pile of wood place, piles of compost, feed bins and trash cans at least 100 feet from the house. wood pile should be at least 12 inches from the ground. Haul away trash, abandoned vehicles, discarded tires and other items that could serve as a rat nesting sites. Place 3 inches of gravel under the car home base to prevent digging by rodents.

Seal the building. Identify all sites that might get in rodents. A mouse can fit through a hole slightly larger than 1/4 inch. Use steel screen, sheet metal, galvanized hardware cloth, caulk or weather stripping to seal holes or gaps along the edges of windows and entrances and garage doors. Check out the places where pipes and electrical wiring into the house and seal openings with steel wool

First, remove the three things needed to survive. Food, water and a place to hide and nest.Second, if the rats are present, set snap-traps, cage traps are not, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. (Peanut butter mixed with wheat is a very good bait.) Continue trapping for at least two days after the last rodent trapped. Third, keep buildings free mice by correcting conditions that attract rodents. Trapping is not useful if procedures are not followed to prevent reinfestation.

“Building-out” mice and traps are the most effective control method. Rodenticides should be used only to supplement this method. If one chooses to use a commercially available rodenticides, make sure it is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency and always follow the instructions for use of the product. If rodenticides will be used indoors, make sure labeled specifically for the interior. All rodenticides carry a warning that they are placed in tamper-proof bait boxes or in a location inaccessible to children, pets and other domestic animals and wildlife. Ticks or mites, which can be a problem if there is a large infestation of rodents, which are best controlled with the proper insecticide labeled for flea or mite control. If the structure is highly infested with rats, however, consult your local or state health department before trying to control them.

Always wear intact rubber or plastic gloves when removing dead mice and when cleaning or disinfecting items or areas contaminated by rodents. Soak or spray dead rodents with a disinfectant solution (see the following information disinfectant) until thoroughly wet and place in a plastic bag. Bags should then be placed in a second bag and sealed. Remove rat in garbage containers with tight-fitting lid or incineration. After handling rodents, the object or the trap and clean the contaminated areas, thoroughly wash gloved hands in general household disinfectant or in soap and hot water. Then remove the gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.

This hantavirus destroyed by detergents and disinfectants such as diluted household bleach or products containing phenol (eg, Lysol®). Choose an agent that is compatible with the item, object or area to be cleaned and disinfected.

Do not vacuum or sweep the rat contaminated areas before cleaning, mopping or spraying with disinfectant. This can cause viral particles in the dust becomes dispersed into the air.

Usage names® brand product is not an endorsement of the product.

© 2020 Illinois Department of Public Health.

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