Hantavirus can cause a rare but deadly disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). In Washington state, hantavirus is spread by deer mice.
Public Health is currently investigating a case in a teenage King County resident. This person was hospitalized in early August and is now recovering. The patient reported being exposed to a mouse infestation at his house in Issaquah and also bitten by a rodent in the woods in a residential area in Issaquah, Washington.
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.
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.
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 […]