Residents Warned to take Precautions Against Hantavirus
Friday, May 18, 2012 - 2:19 PM
Saskatchewan residents are advised to take precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to hantavirus with the camping and seeding season now unfolding. Hantavirus infection is a rare but potentially fatal illness. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, cough, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Individuals who develop fever, coughing and shortness of breath within one to six weeks of potential exposure should seek immediate medical attention. Humans are most often exposed to hantavirus after sweeping or vacuuming rodent infected areas. The virus is transmitted by breathing in contaminated airborne particles from the droppings, urine and saliva of infected rodents. Farmers, grain handlers, cottagers, campers and home owners, who are most likely to be exposed, should take precautions when cleaning rodent-infested areas to prevent direct contact and breathing in of air particles that may be contaminated.
Exposure to hantavirus can be reduced by:
There have been 23 cases of Hantavirus reported in Saskatchewan since 1994: four cases in 2004, one case in 2008, one case in 2010 and three cases in 2011. The most recent cases have been found in central parkland areas.
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