Posted: Mar 22, 2013 11:38 AM
A Deer Lodge County resident has been diagnosed with Hantavirus in what the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department says is the first case for 2013.
The person, who came in contact with the virus while cleaning an area that had been contaminated by rodents, is expected to make a full recovery.
According to the health department, Hantavirus is spread when people breathe in air contaminated by the virus. Symptoms of infection may include fever & muscle aches, sometimes chills, headache and vomiting. As symptoms progress, coughing and severe shortness of breath will develop. Symptoms develop one to six weeks after exposure.
To help avoid the virus, people are encouraging to avoid sweeping or vacuuming any areas if signs of rodents are present, such as mouse and rat nesting materials or rodent droppings; always wear rubber or plastic gloves; spray the area to be cleaned with a mixture of bleach and water to decrease dust activity; clean areas with paper towels or sponges, throwing them away after use; wash hands with soap and warm water after removing gloves, and never stir up the dirt to create dust.
People who experience any of these symptoms are encouraged to seek medical treatment immediately and alert a physician about any recent exposure to rodent-infested areas.