The Montana Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of hantavirus for 2013. It’s a good reminder that it’s important to take safety precautions, especially as you do spring cleaning in locations where mice may have been present over the winter.
According to the press release, a Deer Lodge County, Montana resident is the first person confirmed to have contracted the virus this year. The resident, who was exposed to the virus while cleaning an area that had been contaminated by rodents, is expected to make a full recovery.
This case is a good reminder to New Mexican residents that it is important to use precautions if you see evidence of mice. Hantavirus is most common in New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Arizona and California. There have been over 600 cases reported since 1993 when the syndrome was first identified. The death rate for people who have contracted the virus since 1993 is 36.39 percent of cases end in death.
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