pet mice and hantavirus

  • 6 min read
  • Feb 02, 2020

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

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Brown rats

in the first, the CDC recently reported among pet owners rats. The first case was in the “patient-owned and operated in-house Rattery,” or the rat-breeding facility, with family members into the same sick immediately afterwards. The investigation found mice Seoul virus infection in 31 facilities in 11 countries with human and / or infection of mice, and six have exchanges with ratteries in Canada

Tests found 24 (13.1%) with Seoul virus antibodies. ; three (12.5%) were hospitalized, and no deaths occurred. Outbreaks stopped by quarantining of affected facilities and kill infected mice, as well as to improve the cleaning.

Seoul virus infection can range from asymptomatic to fatal, with death from hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), or. Rattus norvegicus), which may remain asymptomatic, although infected with the virus.

Related hantaviruses far more deadly and common, generally transmitted by deer or white-footed mice.

The first case this year, in a middle aged man, is in the La Araucanía in central Chile

although no one yet ill .; they have twelve isolates last year. It can take up to six weeks for symptoms to develop.

Outbreak

, when there are a bunch of sudden death due to lung infection exceptional in previously healthy young people in the Four Corners area of ​​the Southwest.

Investigators searching for the source of infection, and rodents including trapped in and around their home infected. They found hantavirus infection in deer (Peromyscus maniculatus), and CDC virology branch isolated virus named Sin Nombre virus (SNV); it is the most common strain in the US.

What especially intrigued me at the time of the first outbreak of this is that the clue to the puzzle came from Navaho elders, who have recorded the same cluster death of the previous cycle. They noted that each cycle followed by a one-year increase in precipitation (El Niño years), which resulted in additional food to suddenly grow deer mouse populations. People living adjacent to the mice then have more exposure, resulting in a surge of cases. It is one of the early studies were impressive on climate change and infection.

From 1993 through 2016, the average age was 38 years (range, 5-84 years), and occurs in males. The disease is serious, with fatalities in 36% of those infected.

Other important clusters in Yosemite National Park in 2012, among people living in tent cabins in one part of the garden. Epidemiological investigations found. Three out of 10 people infected died, and that part of the park is closed temporarily. Elaborate research and tracking is that two of the patients are from the east coast.

(It emphasizes the value of training and Infectious Diseases, take trips and exposure history careful. Work in Pennsylvania, I took the one case as in a construction worker youth whose job lay pipes in the ground near Pittsburgh. I was surprised, because hantavirus is rare on the East Coast, but struggled to find out what made him sick.)

hantavirus mice

in 1993, the first case of hantavirus was reported on the East Coast, on a 61-year-old man who had him quite ill with sepsis and multi-organ failure, but recovered. He had noticed rat droppings in the shelter who have stayed in.

A few years ago, we started an old car that has been sitting for months and, when turning on the heater fan, gets blasted with noxious odors and bits of debris. It turns out rats had made a nest in the engine, and then died there. Fortunately, we do not become ill, although hanta certainly crossed my mind, and I told my husband to remember to tell the doc to look for hantavirus, should I become sick, because no one here in Western Maryland otherwise would think to look , Last year, other cases of hantavirus from mice nesting in the car reported from Washington State.

How hantavirus transmitted?

Hantavirus has various rats and mice as host. Although animals may be asymptomatic, they still shed the virus in their secretions-urine, feces, and saliva. , They can also be infected by contaminThis ating their hands with infected secretions, and then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes (like many other infections). It is not spread from one person to another.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who comes in contact with urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents at risk, but the greatest risk is of aerosolization of the virus, as happened with the dust or sweep. Hantaviruses more common in the southwestern United States, but it has happened in other places.

Symptoms

With the Seoul virus, the early symptoms are relatively inconspicuous, including fever, headache, back pain and nausea develops 1-2 weeks after exposure. Some people develop a rash or eye inflammation. , more severe cases associated with shock and hemorrhage (bleeding) fever and kidney failure.

Instead, more generally Sin Nombre hantavirus usually cause pulmonary (lung) and pneumonia symptoms. It is far more deadly ,.

How is hantavirus infection diagnosed?

First, someone needs to think about the disease, which is not possible without a detailed history of exposure. Then the diagnosis is made with a special blood tests look for antibodies against infection, is available at the CDC.

Faced with an outbreak of a new disease on the actual CDC developed a new test for the virus Seoul, allowing rapid testing of animal breeders and helping to contain the outbreak.

CDC and private laboratories (IDEXX and Charles River Laboratories) are also now able to test blood from mice to Seoul virus using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which looks for bits of genetic material from the virus. Mice do not show symptoms, so the only way to know whether you are infected is to have it tested. CDC has contacted them ratteries known to have been connected with the case.

Maintenance

There is no standard, effective treatment for hantavirus. may be effective if administered early, but it’s unlikely to happen unless someone realizes an obvious exposure or during an outbreak. Treatment is largely supportive with fluid and oxygen.

Cleaning up after mice

Mice and rats transmit hantavirus to people with infectious secretions or feces or aerosolization of the bed that had been contaminated.

The most important way to avoid infection is to not aerosolize the material you are cleaning. This means, do not sweep or vacuum or shake out the contaminated material. Instead, spray the ingredients thoroughly with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. After five minutes, use a paper towel to wipe debris. Clean the area again with disinfectant.

You can follow this for a rat in your engine compartment as well, but first remove the battery cable. If rats gain in the airways, you will probably need a new filter and hose, and may need a mechanic to help.

Be sure to wash hands thoroughly when finished.

Conclusion

while hantavirus infections are fortunately rare, it is worth while to be careful if you come into contact with mouse or rat droppings. Be careful not aerosolize any contaminated rodent droppings we come into contact with. And please tell your doctor if you have a pet or a recent trip

I am a specialist in Infectious Diseases and author of Resistance :. One Family Story of Hope and Triumph over evil and Conducting Clinical Research, an essential guide

I am a specialist in Infectious Diseases and author of Resilience: a Family Story of Hope and Triumph over evil and Conducting Clinical Research, an essential guide to the topic.

I survived 25 years in solo practice in rural Cumberland, Maryland, and now works part-time. I especially love to write about the ethical issues, and tilting at windmills as I advocate for social justice. When not slaving over a hot patient, I can be found playing with photography, dog friend, or in my garden. Follow on Twitter @drjudystone

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