HEALTH
11:06 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Mesa County Confirms Case Of Hantavirus

    

Deer mice are the primary carriers of the hantavirus in Colorado.
Credit John Good / National Parks Service

The Mesa County Health Department said a child who lives in the county is being treated for hantavirus.

The boy was transported to Denver over the weekend for treatment, according to a release from the county.

Hantavirus is a rodent-borne illness mainly carried by deer mice in Colorado and other Four-Corner states. It can be deadly

Jennfier House, a veterinarian for the Colorado Department of Public Health, said the virus can make people extremely sick and kills over a third of people who get it. 

House said the virus is carried in mouse droppings and urine.

"Any activities that would basically stir-up mouse droppings and urine could potentially put the virus in the air and then that person could then inhale it," she said. 

House said this is the state’s fourth case of hantavirus this year and one person has died from the illness.

She said people often get the virus when they are cleaning areas where mouse droppings are present. She advised people should wet down areas with a bleach-solution and leave it for 10 minutes before cleaning it.

House said the most important thing to remember is not to stir up the droppings by doing things like sweeping or vacuuming. 

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