Hantavirus has killed several Pennsylvania residents over the
Hantavirus first was diagnosed in the United States in the Four Corners area shared by New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah in 1993, when several young adults complained of acute respiratory distress and about half soon died.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a serious, acute lung disease that causes the lungs to fill with fluid.
The Centers for Disease Control website lists recommendations for hantavirus prevention and control at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/prevent.htm.
The CDC advises taking the following steps:
-- Exclude rodents from cabins and camps by blocking holes and filling cracks.
-- Wash all dishes and utensils with hot soapy water, and store food in rodent-proof containers.
-- Make sure bedding, pillows and sleeping bags are clean, and launder them prior to use if they might have been contaminated by rodents.
-- Air out buildings for at least 30 minutes before you start cleaning, and wear rubber gloves. Spray all materials or surfaces, wetting thoroughly, where droppings and urine are suspected with a general purpose disinfectant. For large areas, use a 10 percent household laundry bleach solution (1-1/2 cups of bleach per gallon of water). Pick up the wet material with a damp towel, or gently sweep it into a dust pan. Following this, mop or wipe the area with disinfectant.
-- When finished cleaning, bury, burn or dispose of cleaning materials in a proper manner. Disinfect your gloves before removing them, and then wash your hands with soap and warm water.
For more information about the hantavirus or prevention methods go to the CDC's website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/.