Hantavirus Death in a McKinley County Boy

Hantavirus Death in a McKinley County Boy
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 11:17am

Third Documented Hantavirus Case in New Mexico for 2013

The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that a 12-year-old boy from McKinley County died of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).

This is the third case of Hantavirus in New Mexico this year and the second death.

An environmental investigation will be conducted at the home of the patient to help reduce the risk to others.

Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus.

The deer mouse is the main reservoir for Sin Nombre virus, the Hantavirus strain most commonly found in New Mexico.

The Department of Health urges health-care workers and the general public to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of Hantavirus.

Early symptoms of Hantavirus infection include fever and muscle aches, possibly with chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cough which progresses to respiratory distress.

These symptoms develop within one to six weeks after rodent exposure.

Although there is no specific treatment for HPS, chances for recovery are better if medical attention is sought early.

For more information about Hantavirus, visit the Department’s website: http://nmhealth.org/ERD/HealthData/hantavirus.html

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