Risk of deadly Hantavirus concern in summertime | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Risk of deadly Hantavirus concern in summertime

Tribune Staff Report

Don’t feed the mice. Don’t handle the little beasts either, or clean up after them without first disinfecting the area. Rodents an expose people to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and it can be fatal.

The problem is particularly acute as people arrive in the Tahoe Basin after winter, and open up cabins that have provided home to rodents while the owners were away.

California State Health Services officials has a list of things to do to protect against inflection.

It includes a recommendation not to trap live animals or handle them. Officials say it is best to keep food and water away, to clean dishes immediately and spray areas where rodents have been with diluted household bleach or other disinfectant.

Use gloves when cleaning up debris left by the animals, and move wood piles, debris and wood shavings away from buildings.

If that summer cabin entertained a number of rodents this winter, the safe thing may be to call the health officials.

HPS is fatal in 40 percent of cases. In California, the 16 reported HPS cases had a 50 percent mortality rate.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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