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Hantavirus disease is a rare, but potentially fatal infection. It is transmitted to people when they inhale airborne particles contaminated by the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected deer mice.
People are reminded that deer mice are present all across Saskatchewan and that they should avoid exposure to rodents. People need to take precautions in their homes, their workplaces, and when they are enjoying the outdoors during camping and other summer activities (e.g. cleaning out buildings/cottages closed through the winter, camping, moving woodpiles, etc.).
Preventing rodent infestations, identifying possible sources of rodent infestation, and following proper procedures for the clean-up of rodent infestations at home and at work to minimize contact to rodents and exposures to contaminated airborne particles will reduce the risk of Hantavirus infection.
Guidelines for the prevention of Hantavirus for workers and the public can be found here: http://www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/hantavirus-disease-guidelines-protecting-workers-public
For additional detailed information about cleaning up after rodents: http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/index.html
If a person develops symptoms like fever, muscle aches, cough, and shortness of breath within one to six weeks after exposure to mouse-infested areas, they need to seek urgent medical attention.
For more information about how to protect yourself and decrease your exposure to Hantavirus, please contact one of the SCHR Public Health Inspectors by:
- Calling the Toll Free Number: 1-888-295-8005
- Emailing them at PubHealhtInspection@schr.sk.ca.
For more information on Hantavirus, go to http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/hantavirus
See the Ministry of Health news release for more information. The Ministry of Health reports that as of June 24, 2014 that since 1994 there have been 27 cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome reported in Saskatchewan with the most recent case in 2014: http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2014/june/24/hantavirus-death
You can also click here - Public Health Inspector - for more general information.