Hantavirus, the flulike disease spread by rodents, was first discovered in New Mexico in 1993. Twenty years later, New Mexico still tops the list for hantavirus cases each year. Since it was first identified, there have been 92 cases of hantavirus, with 37 of those cases resulting in death.
The first 2013 case of hantavirus in New Mexico is seeing better results: the woman who contracted hantavirus was recently released from the University of New Mexico Hospital.
Both the 20th anniversary of the discovery of hantavirus and the fact that it’s still a factor in New Mexico are important reminders to New Mexican residents that it is important to use precautions if you see evidence of mice.
Hantavirus is an illness with flu-like symptoms that also affects the lungs. It has an incubation period of up to six weeks. Hantavirus is often spread by mice, so it’s important to be careful if you see evidence of mice.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following steps for preventing spread of the disease:
- Block holes and fill cracks where rodents may enter.
- Store food in rodent-proof containers.
- Launder bedding, pillows and sleeping bags prior to use if they might have been contaminated by rodents.
- Air out buildings that have been closed up for the winter for at least 30 minutes before you start cleaning. Wear rubber gloves to clean.
- Spray all materials or surfaces, wetting thoroughly, where droppings and urine are suspected with a general purpose disinfectant. For large areas, use a 10 percent household laundry bleach solution (1-1/2 cups of bleach per gallon of water). Pick up the wet material with a damp towel, or gently sweep it into a dust pan. Following this, mop or wipe the area with disinfectant
If you discover the presence of mice or rodents as you do your spring cleaning, Pest Defense Solutions can help. To learn more about Pest Defense Solutions’ rodent control services, please click here, or fill out a contact request form.
Tags: Deer Mice, Hantavirus, Hantavirus Prevention, House Mice, Mice, Montana, New Mexico, Pest Control, Rodent Control, Rodents