A mouse trapped in North County has tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus and now local health officials are warning residents to be extra careful when cleaning.
The mouse was trapped in a rural part of Fallbrook and was the seventh mouse that’s tested positive for hantavirus in the county this year, according to the San Diego Department of Environmental Health.
In July, another trapped mouse in Pala Mesa tested positive for hantavirus.
Residents can contract hantavirus, a group of viruses that infect rodents and can be deadly to humans, when cleaning or sweeping where infected mice have nested. Hantavirus can also be contracted by inhaling infected rodent droppings.
It’s rare for humans to contract hantavirus as long as wild rodents stay in the wild and don’t creep into garages, sheds, homes and cabins, health officials said.
Here’s how you can protect yourself, according to San Diego health officials:
- Seal up all external holes in homes, garages and sheds larger than a dime to keep rodents from getting in.
- Eliminate rodent infestations immediately.
- Avoid rodent-infested areas and don’t stir up dust or materials that may be contaminated with rodent droppings and urine.
- Clean up rodent droppings and urine using a wet cleaning method.