October 26, 2022.Reading time 10 minutes.
Wild rats and mice living too close to humans threaten our health. They can contaminate food, spread disease, damage property, and cause electrical fires. It makes good sense to keep rodents away from our homes. However, there are safe – and less safe ways – to get rid of them.
Many people’s first instinct is to use rodenticides – also known as rat or mouse bait – to poison the intruders. Unfortunately, misuse and overuse of these poisons are common and can harm children and pets.
December 30, 2021.Reading time 10 minutes.
Public Health is investigating a case of hantavirus in an adult resident of southeast King County. Hantavirus can cause a rare but deadly disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Although we are not aware of an increased risk for hantavirus exposure in King County, it is important that people are aware of the risk and symptoms to watch for and know how to identify and properly respond to rodent infestations. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for HPS, so minimizing exposures to rodents and their nests is key.
May 15, 2020.Reading time 5 minutes.
If you are in the yard, garage or garden, watch for signs of rodents and take precautions against hantavirus exposure when cleaning up after rodents. Also take steps to protect yourself if you are entering a building that has been closed up during Stay at Home orders. We have tips to help.
March 19, 2018.Reading time 3 minutes.
Some mice (deer mice, specifically) can carry hantavirus in their urine and droppings, This virus is rare, but can be potentially deadly in humans. So, if you are doing your annual spring cleaning and notice signs of infestation, take caution when cleaning it up.
December 20, 2017.Reading time 9 minutes.
When it gets cold and rainy, we humans bundle up and retreat to the indoors. Unfortunately, so do rats. Besides being unsightly, rats spread bacteria and viruses, and they can cause damage to buildings, houses and even vehicles. So, before you settle in for the season, make sure you’ve done what you can to keep […]
April 21, 2017.Reading time 9 minutes.
Here at the Insider, we’ve been talking to Dr. Meagan Kay, Medical Epidemiologist, about the cluster of hantavirus cases that we’ve had in King County over the last several months. Meagan, what is hantavirus? Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a rare but sometimes deadly disease that people can get by breathing in hantavirus contained in […]