Deadly Hantavirus Strikes During Spring Cleaning, How to Be Safe - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Deadly Hantavirus Strikes During Spring Cleaning, How to Be Safe

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Be careful doing your spring cleaning. Experts say an Oklahoma man died from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which comes from a virus. spread by wild rodents. This is the first Hantavirus death in the state since 2001. Experts say the illness is something you can prevent.

Deer mice are the culprits in Oklahoma, which carry Hantavirus. They leave droppings behind and once you begin to sweep and clean, you stir up the virus. It takes to the air and you breathe it in. The virus is also transmitted through the rodents saliva and urine.

This normally happens in sheds, cabins or places that have been undisturbed in winter months. Experts advise you to let an enclosed area air out 30-minutes before you clean. You should also use one and a half cups of bleach with a gallon of water to spray down contaminated areas.

"Spray the area down thoroughly with the droppings and suspected urine or dead mouse hat you see. Be sure you put these things in a trash bag and double bag it and throw it away," said Nicole Schlaefli, of the Tulsa Health Department.

The symptoms are fever,  body aches, or even nausea and  if you experience those call your doctor.

Since Hantavirus was found in Oklahoma in 1993, three people have died.

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