By Catherine Haug, April 13, 2017
Yesterday’s Daily Inter Lake had an interesting piece by Kathryn Houghton, titled “Spring Cleaning. Officials: Rats carrying hantavirus can be deadly.” (1) This caught my eye because it’s time to clean out my garage from all the salty dirt brought in on my car’s tires, and also to sort through my old moving boxes (after moving them from storage in Portland) for my enameled cookware.
You can read the complete article at reference (1) below, but here are the highlights.
- Rodents (not just rats) carry the virus.
- Montana has one of the highest rates of infection in the US. About 25% of Montana’s cases have resulted in death.
- The virus is spread in dusty air; sweeping, vacuuming and other cleaning activities can stir up dust infected by saliva, urine or droppings from infected rodents.
- Symptoms include: fatigue, fever, muscle aches early in the cycle. As the pulmonary disease progresses, symptoms will include coughing and extreme shortness of breath.
- Precautions: see below.