Second Hantavirus death since June in Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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A northern Saskatchewan adult is dead after contracting Hantavirus, the health ministry announced Tuesday.

The victim, whose name, gender and age has yet to be released, as well as the region the contraction occurred in, marks the second time in the last two months that a Saskatchewan resident has died of Hantavirus.

The two deaths are among four reported cases in 2014.

Contraction of Hantavirus occurs when humans come into contact sixth contaminated airborne particles from the urine, saliva and dropping of deer mice.

“Seek medical attention immediately if you develop a fever, muscle aches, coughing and shortness of breath within one to six weeks of exposure to mouse-infested areas,” Denise Walker, the province’s deputy medical health officer, said in a news release.

Walked also noted that people should be aware of mouse dropping and nesting materials when cleaning buildings. She urges all Saskatchewanians to “take precautions to prevent direct contact and inhalation of particles that may be contaminated.”

When cleaning rodent-infested areas, the ministry advises residents to:

  • Ventilate the building by opening doors and windows for at least 30 minutes before cleaning;
  • Use wet mopping methods, and wear plastic or rubber gloves;
  • Wear goggles and a filter mask when cleaning contaminated areas;
  • Dry cleaning methods such as dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and air-hosing should be avoided
  • Steam clean, shampoo, or spray furniture with a detergent, disinfectant, or a mixture of bleach and water.

Since 1994, there have been 30 cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome reported in Saskatchewan, one-third of which have resulted in death. 

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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