The Benton-Franklin Health District confirmed a new case of hantavirus in Franklin County, the fourth case in Washington this year and the third in Franklin County since 1996.
The health district did not identify the patient or indicate if it was a man or woman. The resident apparently recovered after contracting hantavirus in Franklin County.
People become infected with hantavirus mainly by breathing air contaminated by the virus, or through direct contact with infected rodents or their saliva, urine, droppings or nesting material.
Deer mice are the primary sources of hantavirus in Washington. It is not transmitted between people.
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The virus can cause hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a rare but serious illness that is fatal in 36 percent of cases.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid wild rodents and to prevent them from invading homes and workplaces by sealing up holes inside and outside. Symptoms develop one to eight weeks after exposure and include fatigue, fever and severe muscle aches.
The disease can progress to include coughing and shortness of breath.