Beware risks of deadly hantavirus illness while spring cleaning |

Beware risks of deadly hantavirus illness while spring cleaning

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Residents should wear rubber gloves and use disinfectant when cleaning areas inhabited by rodents, according to a news release from Northwest Colorado Health.

People can be infected by hantavirus, a rare but potentially fatal respiratory illness, by breathing in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces. While cleaning, do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming, and spray rodent urine, droppings or nesting materials with disinfectant or a bleach and water solution before wiping up.

Symptoms of hantavirus are fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms and has been exposed to rodents should seek medical attention immediately.

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