Colorado reports 2nd hantavirus fatality of 2015 - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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In a follow-up to an earlier report on a suspect hantavirus case in a La Plata County, CO resident, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is now reporting the individual has died from the lethal virus, the Denver Post reports today.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

This is the second Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) case reported in Colorado this year and both cases were fatal. CDPHE has documented more than 90 cases of Hantavirus since it began tracking the disease in 1993. More than forty percent of these individuals died from the infection.

Hantavirus is a life-threatening disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza.

Hantavirus is carried by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick.

It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with the dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosedareas that have been empty for a long time.

Hantavirus does not spread between humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides the symptoms of hantavirus between “early” and “late” symptoms.

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal.

There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting,diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.

Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a “…tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face” as the lungs fill with fluid.

Through December 31, 2013, a total of 637 cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome have been reported in the United States. Of these, 606 cases occurred from 1993-onward, following the initial identification of HPS, whereas 31 cases were retrospectively identified. Thirty-six percent of all reported cases have resulted in death.

9 Comments

  1. wendy banning says:

    I would be interested to know more about this . I believe my husband was the first reported fatality from hantavirus in 2015. Chaffee county health department was never able to determine where he contracted the virus. I have to say that the investigator and the process were disappointing , to say the least. Of course the investigation is mandatory for infectious disease , but once it was “complete ” , the county and state agencies don’t offer any support,resources, or additional information. The investigation process could definitely be better.

  2. […] In a follow-up to an earlier report on a suspect hantavirus case in a La Plata County, CO resident, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is now reporting the individual has died from the lethal virus, the Denver Post reports today. This is the second Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) case reported in Colorado this […] Outbreak News Today » US News […]

  3. Serena James says:

    Wendy: I tried to reach out to you when you lost Chris. I live in Buena Vista as well. My daughter was the first hantavirus death in 2011, we were in Saguache county at the time. We finally determined where she contacted it. There really is no support other than tons of research on your own. You can contact me if you’d like. My daughter was a perfectly healthy 22 year old with a 10 month old baby when she got sick. You can contact me thru Facebook if you’d like and I’ll give you my phone number. Serena Brazil James.

  4. jenn says:

    My 40-year-old husband died Jan 15 in Phillips County, CO.The CDC is testing for hantavirus as COD on him as well.

  5. Karlene stange says:

    I live in LaPlata County. Just returning froma trip to Canada. I will find out more details as I learn them and pass it on. Sympathy to those who lost loved ones.

  6. jenn says:

    CDC confirmation came. It was Hantavirus. Second case in Colorado this year 🙁

  7. […] all have been fatalities. The other cases include a Chaffee County man who died in January and a La Plata resident earlier this […]

  8. Roxanne says:

    I lost my 31 year old son to the Hantavirus on June 13, 2015 in Colorado.

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