CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Health officials in Carson City are advising residents to use extra care around areas where rats and mice may have been living after discovering a person had been infected with the hantavirus.
Carson City Health and Human Services on Tuesday said the case is the first ever reported in Douglas County. The person apparently developed Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome after spring cleaning. The disease is a severe and sometimes fatal respiratory infection.
The health agency provided no other information on the person or their condition, citing privacy laws.
Hantavirus is a rare disease and only 14 cases have been reported in areas of Nevada outside of Clark County since 2005. It can be transmitted to people by some mice and rat species that shed the virus in their urine, droppings, and saliva.
People often are exposed to the virus when they come in contact with nesting materials or stir up dust and breathe it while cleaning. The infection is often associated with reopening and cleaning cabins and vacation homes after they were closed for the winter.
The health agency says precautions include using extra care while cleaning by opening windows, avoiding vacuuming or sweeping dusty areas and wearing gloves and an N95 mask while cleaning areas where rodent activity is obvious.