A Michigan woman has been hospitalized after being infected with a deadly rare virus associated with rodent droppings.
Health officials announced the first case in the country of the hantavirus Sin Nombre on Monday, The Detroit Free Press reported.
The disease can be transmitted to people who are in close contact with rodent feces, urine and saliva, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported only 21 cases of hantavirus in the United States from 1993 to 2018. Statistics for the past year were available on its website.
The disease kills about 40 percent of people who catch it, and can cause “coughing and shortness of breath, with the feeling, as one survivor put it,”
More manageable symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, according to the CDC. It is rarely transmitted from person to person, officials said.
An unidentified patient in Michigan is thought to have caught the virus while cleaning an empty home with signs of active rodent infestation, health officials said.
“We believe that the man was exposed during the cleaning of the house. The faecal matter … from the infection was probably carried into the air during the cleaning and was inhaled by the individual, “said Susteng Ringler-Ink, spokesman for the Washteno County Department of Health.
“This infection is still considered very rare and can be avoided, even with significant invasions, with precautions when cleaning.”
The patient was reportedly discharged from the hospital after being treated for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
“Anyone who comes in contact with rodents carrying hantavirus is at risk for HPS and healthcare providers with a suspected case of hantavirus should contact their local health department to report the case and discuss the possibility of confirming it. testing, ”said Dr. Johnny Haldun, Chief. He is reportedly the Medical Director of the Michigan Department of Health.
The best way to avoid the disease is to take safety precautions when cleaning up after infecting rodents, officials said. “If your pet finds or kills a rodent, neither dogs nor cats can transmit hantavirus to humans,” said Ringler-Ink.
“If this happens, be sure to dispose of the rodent with gloves or a plastic bag and clean any affected area.”