Health officials in Coconino County, AZ are have reported the second Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) of the year. The individual has recovered from the illness.
The first case was reported in January and resulted in the death of the individual. It is unknown where the current case contracted the virus.
HPS is not limited to one geographic location. It can be present in any area in Northern Arizona where there is rodent activity, even if mice are never seen. HPS is transmitted to people that come into contact with or breathe infected urine, droppings and/or saliva of wild mice, primarily deer mice. Anyone who comes into contact with rodents that carry Hantavirus is at risk of HPS. The illness is not spread from person to person.
“It is extremely important that individuals are aware of their surroundings while at home, work and while recreating. If there is rodent activity, taking appropriate precautions can help protect against HPS,” said Marie Peoples, CCPHSD Chief Health Officer.
Including this case, there have been 5 confirmed cases of hantavirus reported in Coconino County since January 2006, resulting in two deaths from complications from the illness.
Of the nearly 700 hantavirus cases reported in the US since 1993, only New Mexico and Colorado have reported more cases than Arizona.