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Four wild mice collected near Campo test positive for hantavirus

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 19:40:29-04

CAMPO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Four wild mice collected during routine monitoring in the Campo area have tested positive for hantavirus, county health officials say.

The mice, that were collected in open space in Campo, included two California mice, one deer mouse, and one brush mouse.

The mice brought the total number of rodents that have tested positive for the virus so far this year around the county to 22.

Health officials say people are unlikely to be exposed to the virus because rodents generally want to live and nest away from people.

The county is also reminding residents that they should never sweep or vacuum up after rodents if they find them living in spaces like homes, sheds, or garages. Instead, people are encouraged to use “wet-cleaning” methods.

People are exposed to hantavirus when the urine, feces, and saliva dries and is stirred into the air and inhaled.

There is no cure or vaccine for the virus and it is potentially deadly, the county says.

See tips from the county below on how to use wet-cleaning methods:

Avoid Exposure to Hantavirus

· Seal up all external holes in homes, garages and sheds larger than a dime to keep rodents from getting in.

· Eliminate rodent infestations immediately.

· Avoid rodent-infested areas and do not stir up dust or materials that may be contaminated with rodent droppings and urine.

· Clean up rodent droppings and urine using the wet cleaning method described below.

Use “Wet-cleaning” Methods to Prevent Inhaling the Virus

· Do not sweep or vacuum infested areas.

· Ventilate affected area by opening doors and windows for at least 30 minutes.

· Use rubber gloves. Spray a 10 percent bleach solution or other disinfectants onto dead rodents, rodent droppings, nests, contaminated traps, and surrounding areas and let the disinfectant stand for at least 15 minutes before cleaning.

· Clean with a sponge or a mop that has been soaked in disinfectant.

· Place disinfected rodents and debris into two plastic bags, seal them and discard in the trash.

· Wash gloves in a bleach solution, then soap and water, and dispose of them using the same double-bag method.

· Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.