A mouse in your house could be deadly

A photo of a deer mouse courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

It is hantavirus season and Saskatchewan health officials are warning residents to take proper safety measures when spring cleaning possible rodent-infested areas.

The virus is contracted by humans through airborne particles in the droppings, urine and saliva of infected deer mice.

“Be aware of the risk and take the necessary precautions to avoid direct contact with mouse droppings or inhaling contaminated air particles,” said Dr. Saqib Shabab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer in a press release.

According to the press release, the hantavirus is rare, but it can be fatal. Symptoms include fever, muscles aches, cough, headaches, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms can transition quickly into a severe and often fatal lung disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

Since 1994, there have been 31 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome reported in Saskatchewan, 10 of which resulted in death.

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