Doctor talks about contracting, surviving hantavirus
The first hantavirus case of the year in Washington state has been reported in a young adult in Grant County.
The person became sick in late April with flu-like symptoms and then was hospitalized with respiratory failure.
The patient survived and is continuing to improve at home, according to the Grant County Health District.
Deer mice carry the virus that can cause hantavrius pulmonary syndrome in people.
People can be infected by breathing in dust from dried urine, saliva and droppings from infected mice or by touching contaminated items, such as droppings or nesting material.
People are most at risk when they enter outbuildings, cabins, RVs and vehicles that have been infested with mice and have poor air circulation. Cabins, for example, often have been closed up over the winter.
The risk of exposure to the virus is highest in the spring.
People who enter an area with rodent droppings should air-out the space for at least an hour before reentering.
Thoroughly spray any contaminated areas with a mixture of 10 percent bleach in water and let soak for 10 minutes before cleaning up wearing rubber or plastic gloves.
Wearing a fitted n-95 mask is recommended. Avoid vacuuming, sweeping or stirring up dry dust.
Carpets or upholstered furniture should be steam cleaned or shampooed, say health officials.