South Plains Man Hospitalized With Hantavirus - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/23/06

South Plains Man Hospitalized With Hantavirus

It's an uncommon disease that often results in death. It's called Hantavirus and one South Plains man has it. The Texas Department of Health confirmed that an adult from Gaines County has the virus. They are now investigating where it happened. Family members of a man, being treated for the virus, tell NewsChannel 11 he is in critical condition at Covenant.

Hantavirus is a respiratory disease that can be fatal. Symptoms usually begin 1 to 3 weeks after exposure to infected deer mice.

Hantavirus starts like the flu with a fever, chills and muscle aches. But then, it develops into an abrupt onset of breathing trouble. That's when you need to see a doctor right away. The muscle aches become severe and there may be nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. That's the bad news.

The good news is hanta virus is easily preventable. It's carried by the deer mouse which sheds the virus it its urine, saliva and droppings. So, whenever you discover a rodent infested area or want to clean up rodent droppings, remember to spray before you sweep.

Hantavirus aerosolizes which means when it is swept, it can float into the air in the dust that comes up from the droppings. So spray with a disinfectant before you sweep and then, wash your hands thoroughly.

There are no known cases of pets or people passing the virus to another animal or person.

Learn More About the Hantavirus
Go to the National Center for Infectious Diseases for a more in-depth look at the Hantavirus.

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