Hantavirus case reported in Kane County

Deermouse | Photo courtesy of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has confirmed a case of hantavirus infection in Kane County. Hantavirus incidents are rare in the five-county region, with the last case being reported four years ago in Iron County. The virus is found in the droppings, urine, and saliva of rodents, usually deer-mice.

“This time of year, a lot of people start spring cleaning in places where rodent droppings are found, such as sheds, barns, and cabins,” Dr. David Blodgett, SWUPHD Health Officer, said. “If hantavirus is present, it can be inhaled and cause respiratory illness within a few weeks.”

Hantavirus infection, called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, starts with flu-like symptoms followed by difficulty breathing and can be life-threatening. Treatment includes intensive hospital care to deal with the respiratory distress. Hantavirus is not known to spread person-to-person.

Hantavirus infection can be prevented by avoiding contact with rodents, including nests and droppings.

  • Seal openings in structures and set mouse traps
  • Allow an infested area to air out for at least thirty minutes before cleaning
  • Clean droppings by spraying with disinfectant (one part bleach to ten parts water works well), then wipe up with disposable paper towels
  • Wear gloves while cleaning or when handling nests or dead mice


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  • dogmama April 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Where in Kane county? How did the person contract it? Did the person survive? More information please!

  • Joe Hughes April 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    A woman that lived part time in Piute Co. , died last year in Fresno CA , from this virus. She had recently spent time at their Utah residence.

  • KanabCowgirl April 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    This is going to sound weird but, it is nevertheless True. Pure Peppermint oil not Peppermint extract will keep mice out of ur home. Place a few drops (try 10) on a cotton ball where u know they run. Also try diffusing it in ur home.
    I heard they’re allergic to Peppermint. I lol-ed about it but surprisingly found out it’s true! Had a storage unit that mice got into and did damage to most of my stuff. But! And get this. Had a box of sleepy time tea in there too and the mice cut the plastic open in 1 corner, the paper box was ok, no damage to the box itself. There was mice duties & pee everywhere else but none whatsoever anywhere on that box.
    Right then and there I became a believer of them being allergic to peppermint.

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