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Beware of Hantavirus

Hantavirus

With clean-up week set for the week ahead, it is not unlikely residents will be heading into their garages, barns or outbuildings to tidy things up after the long winter.  However, they may discover that those areas may have been inhabited by rodents over the past months – and some of those rodents could haveshed hantavirus through urine, droppings or saliva. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can affect people who breathe infected dust from dried materials contaminated by the rodents causing an infection that could even result in death.  Teton County Public Health Response Coordinator Tammy Marshall says people are best advised to prepare the area before cleaning it. Marshall says the best thing to do is air the area out at least 30 minutes before going in to start cleaning.  Says Marshall: “We recommend if possible to mop or spray floors with a disinfectant mixture of bleach and water.”  She says the idea is to reduce the dust. Marshall says if a rodent nest is discovered, it should be generously sprayed with the disinfectant and allow it to sit for at least five minutes before picking it up and disposing of it.  It is also recommended that when cleaning; wear rubber, vinyl or nitrile gloves and in places that are especially dirty or infested with rodent droppings, wear shoe covers, and coveralls.

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