Hantavirus Remains a Health Threat

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The Wyoming Department of Health wants to remind people that hantavirus infection remains a potential health threat when mice get into closed locations and leave their droppings behind.

According to information from the Department of Health, infected rodents can infest garages, campers, cabins and barns and shed hantavirus through urine, droppings and saliva. State Interim Epidemiologist Clay Van Houten talks about the number one culprit for carrying hantavirus in Wyoming.

Van Houten said the proper precautions include properly ventilating a building for at least 30 minutes if it has been closed up or unoccupied for a long time. He said when working in places that are especially dirty, dusty, or infested with mice, wear extra protective clothing or equipment such as overalls, shoe covers and special face masks known as respirators.

Since 1999, there have been 14 human hantavirus cases in Wyoming, including 7 that resulted in death.