Montana State University

MSU Extension offers resource describing hantavirus, prevention methods

June 26, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN – In light of recent hantavirus cases in Gallatin and Carbon counties, Montana State University Extension has updated and redistributed a MontGuide about the potentially deadly infection, which is typically spread to humans by deer mice.

The guide, “Hantavirus: What is it? What can be done about it?” describes symptoms, risk factors, treatment and prevention of this serious infection, which is fatal in more than 30 percent of reported cases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Don’t assume that hantavirus only happens to unhealthy or older people,” said Extension housing and environmental health specialist Mike Vogel. “Anyone who is exposed can be infected. Cleaning or working in old or unoccupied buildings or crawl spaces is a potential risk for all people.”

The guide relays suggestions from the CDC for eliminating deer mice and other rodents who may carry the virus and offers tips for lessening contact with them. Learn how to prevent rodents from entering a home, reduce rodent shelter and food sources around a home, how to use spring-loaded traps if necessary and how to correctly clean contaminated areas.

The publication is available online from the MSU Extension home page at msuextension.org, by calling the MSU Extension Distribution Center, (406) 994-3273, and through your local county Extension office.

Contact: Mike Vogel, Extension Housing and Environmental Quality Specialist, (406) 994-3451, or mvogel@montana.edu.