Navajo Nation Confirms First Hantavirus Death of 2016

deer mousePublished January 20, 2016

NAVAJO NATION —The Navajo Nation has confirmed the first Hantavirus death of 2016.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is transmitted to people that come into contact with or breathe infected urine, droppings and/or saliva of wild mice, primarily deer mice. Anyone who comes into contact with rodents that carry Hantavirus is at risk of HPS. The illness is not spread from person to person.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome was first identified in 1993 when an outbreak of this infectious lung disease took place in the southwestern United States on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

The illness starts with fever, headache and muscle aches, and progresses rapidly to severe difficulty in breathing and, in some cases, death.

People should make sure to rodent-proof their homes to prevent infected mice from coming inside.

When cleaning rodent droppings, people should use a mask, disinfectant and gloves.

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