Hantavirus Symptoms & Prevention - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/23/06

Hantavirus Symptoms & Prevention

The Texas Department of Health confirmed, Thursday, that an adult from Gaines County has
hantavirus. Family members tell us the man is in critical condition at Covenant.

Hantavirus is a respiratory disease that can be fatal. But it's not that easy to catch because it's not passed from pets to people or from person to person...you can only get it from an infected deer mouse.

Symptoms usually begin 1 to 3 weeks after exposure. It starts like the flu, with a fever, chills and muscle aches. But then develops into breathing trouble and may include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The good news is hantavirus is easily preventable.

The deer mouse sheds the virus in its urine, saliva and droppings. So if you clean up rodent droppings, remember to "spray before you sweep". Hantavirus aerosolizes, which means when it is swept, it can float into the air, and that's when you could breathe it in. So, spray any rodent droppings with bleach before you sweep and then wash your hands thoroughly.

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