San Diego County Health Officials Warn Residents After Another Rodent Tests Positive for Deadly Virus
San Diego County officials are cautioning residents after a trapped mouse in Pala Mesa tested positive for Hantavirus, a rare but potentially deadly airborne disease which humans can contract from infected rodents. This is the sixth mouse to test positive for the virus in the region this year, according to the County Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
Hantavirus is contracted when particles from infected rodent droppings are inhaled, but it cannot spread from human to human. Symptoms include severe muscle aches; fever and chills; headaches or dizziness; coughing or breathing difficulties; nausea, vomiting, or other stomach problems; and low blood pressure.
According to the county website, Hantavirus has a 35% mortality rate and there is no vaccine or cure.
“There are two important things people need to remember to help protect themselves,” said DEH Director Liz Pozzebon. “First, avoid exposure. And second, if you have to clean an area where rodents have been, do not sweep or vacuum. Use wet cleaning methods.”
While officials are urging residents to take precautionary measures, they emphasize that the virus is still incredibly rare. It is not found in common house mice, but rather wild rodents like deer mice. Anyone who suspects they may have come in contact with an infected rodent should seek medical attention immediately.
Read more about the situation here.