New Mexico Reports Hantavirus Case

New Mexico Reports Hantavirus Case

POSTED: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 12:06pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 9:49am

LAS CRUCES - The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that a 51-year-old man from McKinley County is hospitalized at UNM Hospital in Albuquerque with the State’s first diagnosed case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome this year.

An environmental investigation will be conducted to determine where the man may have been exposed to the virus.

“All New Mexicans should be aware of this disease and take precautions to avoid rodents and their droppings,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, the Department of Health’s public health veterinarian. “This is especially important at this time of year when the cold weather is causing rodents to seek shelter and food in homes and other buildings. The best defense against Hantavirus is to seal up your house so mice can’t enter and avoid disturbing areas of rodent infestation, including nests and droppings.”

Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva.

People can contract the disease when they breathe hantavirus particles.

The deer mouse is the main reservoir for Hantavirus in New Mexico.

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