Hantavirus to Blame for South Plains Deaths - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/10/02

Hantavirus to Blame for South Plains Deaths

As NewsChannel 11 told you Thursday night, two people from two different South Plains counties have died from the Hantavirus in the last six months. The question now is what can we do to protect ourselves?

The Texas Department of Health says we should be alert of our surroundings because the virus is not spread from person to person, but instead by rodents and their droppings. Dr. Richard Lampe, an Infectious Disease Specialist at the Texas Tech Health Science Center says before you grab a broom to sweep up mouse droppings, disinfect the area, so the virus won't be swept up into the air that you breathe.

"You can use common household bleach and dilute it with water, or a household disinfectant spray or even detergent. Spray it on mouse droppings or on a dead mouse and it should protect you against that virus," said Dr. Lampe.

Dr. Lampe says although Hantavirus begins with flu-like symptoms, fever and muscle aches, the difference is with Hantavirus, the patient's condition rapidly deteriorates, and includes chest pain and trouble breathing.

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