After a routine monitoring last week in Chula Vista, a deer mouse tested positive for the hantavirus, which can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), starting with flu-like symptoms but can grow into severe breathing difficulties and cause death.
Although deer mice typically avoid contact with people the cold weather could drive them inside. People can contract hantavirus by inhaling dust particles from rodent droppings and nesting materials that contain the virus. Use bleach and mops to clean up after rodents, don’t sweep or vacuum droppings.
There is no treatment, vaccine or cure for hantavirus infections.
For more information contact the County Department of Environmental Health at (858) 694-2888 or visit http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/pests/hantavirus.html.