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Washoe County Reports First Hantavirus Case of 2023

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, August 15, 2023 2:37 pm

The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) has confirmed the first Hantavirus case in Washoe County for the year 2023. Hantavirus is a rare respiratory disease with potentially severe consequences, including fatalities. It is primarily spread through inhalation or contact with viral particles from infected rodents, particularly deer mice.

The affected individual is a male in his 60s who had been exposed to rodent droppings several weeks prior to being hospitalized. While there’s no current update on his condition, investigations are ongoing.

This marks the first reported case of Hantavirus in Washoe County since November 2022, with the most recent Hantavirus-related death occurring in December 2020.

WCHD is urging Washoe County residents to exercise caution and implement necessary measures to prevent contracting Hantavirus. Those who come into contact with rodents carrying the virus, particularly when cleaning up droppings or nesting material, are at risk.

Early symptoms of Hantavirus include fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, chills, and dizziness, usually appearing one to eight weeks after exposure. Subsequent symptoms, developing four to 10 days after initial symptoms, include coughing, shortness of breath, and fluid buildup in the lungs.

Prevention is crucial. Taking precautions while cleaning to minimize the risk of infection is vital. Avoid sweeping or vacuuming areas with urine, droppings, or nesting material. Instead, use a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water when cleaning such areas. Spray the solution, wait five minutes, then wipe with paper towels or cloth while wearing gloves and a face mask to avoid contact with viral particles. Identify mouse-prone areas, seal openings, and set traps to further prevent exposure.

Credits: Fox Reno

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