CO-Horts

CO-Horts

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hantavirus Concerns



Kurt M. Jones
Chaffee County Extension Director

            The weather looks like it will be fantastic this coming weekend, and many of us will be getting outside.  Time for the spring cleaning in the home and sheds!  Use caution if you are cleaning in areas infested with mice.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) has been recognized as a disease only recently in North America. So far, it's also fairly uncommon and the chances of becoming infected are low.  However, HPS is potentially deadly and immediate intensive care is essential once symptoms appear.
Rodents, especially the deer mouse, carry Hantaviruses that cause HPS. You can become infected by exposure to their droppings, and the first signs of sickness (especially fever and muscle aches) appear 1 to 5 weeks later, followed by shortness of breath and coughing.  Once this phase begins, the disease progresses rapidly, necessitating hospitalization and often ventilation within 24 hours. 
             Healthy, active people are more likely to become infected because their activities often put them in contact with the virus.  Anything that puts you in contact with rodent droppings, urine or nesting materials can place you at risk for infection. These include such activities as opening up cabins and sheds or cleaning outbuildings that have been closed during the winter—such as barns, garages or storage facilities for farm and construction equipment. Both activities mean you may directly touch rodents or their droppings and/or "stir up the dust," and when you touch or inhale them, you're at risk for infection.
Follow a few simple instructions to protect yourself from this dangerous disease.  First, put on latex rubber gloves before cleaning up.  Don't stir up dust by sweeping up or vacuuming up droppings, urine or nesting materials.  Instead, thoroughly wet contaminated areas with detergent or liquid to deactivate the virus. Most general-purpose disinfectants and household detergents are effective. However, a hypochlorite solution prepared by mixing 1 and 1/2 cups of household bleach in 1 gallon of water may be used in place of commercial disinfectant. When using the chlorine solution, avoid spilling the mixture on clothing or other items that may be damaged.  Once everything is wet, take up contaminated materials with a damp towel, then mop or sponge the area with disinfectant.
Spray dead rodents with disinfectant, then double-bag along with all cleaning materials and bury or burn—or throw out in appropriate waste disposal system.  Finally, disinfect gloves before taking them off with disinfectant or soap and water. After taking off the clean gloves, thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water.
When going into cabins or outbuildings (or work areas) that have been closed for a while, open them up and air out before cleaning.
At the present time, there is no specific treatment or "cure" for hantavirus infection.  However, we do know that if the infected individuals are recognized early and are taken to an intensive care unit, some patients may do better. In intensive care, patients are intubated and given oxygen therapy to help them through the period of severe respiratory distress.
The earlier the patient is brought in to intensive care, the better. If a patient is experiencing full distress, it is less likely the treatment will be effective.  Therefore, if you have been around rodents and have symptoms of fever, deep muscle aches and severe shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately. Be sure to tell your doctor that you have been around rodents—this will alert your physician to look closely for any rodent-carried disease such as HPS.

2 comments:

  1. There is a cure to Hantavirus,
    My husband was infected with Hantavirus,and now he is completely cured from it.
    we got the contact of Dr Ben from the Internet and we contacted him,
    he gave us the medication which my husband used and it is a permanent cure,
    and now he is living fine with me.
    any body with similar issues can contact the Doctor at benardleo3@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is a cure to Hantavirus,
    My husband was infected with Hantavirus,and now he is completely cured from it.
    we got the contact of Dr Ben from the Internet and we contacted him,
    he gave us the medication which my husband used and it is a permanent cure,
    and now he is living fine with me.
    He also specialize in curing
    Cancer
    Diabetes
    Erectile dysfunction
    Epilepsy.
    any body with similar issues can contact the Doctor at benardleo3@gmail.com
    Regards.

    ReplyDelete