The old saying, “When the cats away, the mice will play” is no laughing matter! Most
No one likes to think they have mice or rats around their house, but you may be
surprised at just what is lurking in your backyard.
I just heard an interview with Gary Ridenour, M.D. speaking on the Hantavirus outbreak.
Warnings are being sent out to people in 39 countries who have visited the Yosemite
The Hantavirus is really no new disease. It is believed that Alexander The Great died
from the virus in 323 BC. The virus was found near the Hantan River in South Korea
during the Korean War and identiﬁed in 1959.
It is a rare virus but ferocious. The virus is carried by rodents but especially the Deer
Mice. People come in contact with the virus by the urine and feces from the rodents.
You could touch it, walk on it, sweep it up and breath it in. Children could drop their food
on the ﬂoor where the mice had been and pick it up and eat it. There are many ways
one may come in contact with the virus. It kills one third of the people who get infected.
The pulmonary (lung) form has a 36 percent death rate. The symptoms are ﬂu-like
symptoms, fever, muscle aches, and lung diseases.
The good thing about this virus is that it is not catchable from person to person. It is
considered a “Dead-In Virus”, meaning just that, you can’t catch it from a person. Once
it hits a human, the virus can not travel anymore.
In 2010, eighteen percent of the mice that were trapped to check for this virus proved to
have the virus. Yosemite was warned then that there were going to be a problem
Currently it is said that there is no treatment. It is considered an RNA virus like the AIDS
virus. The treatment consists of trying to keep down secondary problems that can arise.
The leading state in the United States is New Mexico with 84 reported cases.
Dr Ridenour advised that everyone get rid of any rodents around our homes. If you see
droppings, be careful. It may be good to wear a mask while you clean or sweep. He also
added that we should spray bleach in the areas of possible urine and feces.
This is another reason I don’t like those little critters!