By NewsDesk @bactiman63
San Diego County Public Health officials are responding to an influenza outbreak among asylum seekers recently flown to San Diego from Texas by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We have identified individuals with flu symptoms and are providing appropriate treatment,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer.
Since May 19, 29 people have been diagnosed with Influenza-like Illness. In addition, 24 people from 12 families are currently quarantined at hotels.
Asylum seekers, primarily families, began arriving in San Diego County in October 2018 and from Texas on May 19. To date, more than 14,000 individuals who are legally in the country have been screened.
“We are taking all the appropriate steps that we can to contain this outbreak at this facility and to protect the public’s health in San Diego,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob.
A deer mouse trapped in routine monitoring in the Fallbrook area has tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, prompting County officials to remind people to never sweep or vacuum up after rodents if they find them in homes, garages, sheds or cabins.
While the risk is low, officials urge people to protect themselves if they find wild rodents living in their homes, sheds and garages.
There are several ways of preventing hantavirus infections. Personal protection measures listed below will help lower exposure to airborne particles when cleaning up rodent droppings.
- Do not vacuum, sweep or dust
- Air out unused rooms or buildings that have been empty for a long period of time for 30 minutes by opening doors and windows
- Use wet cleaning method
- Always wear latex or rubber gloves and protective respiratory equipment, such as a face mask
- Spray dead rodents or droppings with disinfectants before removing
- Place dead rodents and their nesting material in a sealed plastic bag before throwing them away
- After cleaning, wash your gloved hands, remove the gloves and dispose of them, and then wash your bare hands as well
One of the best ways of preventing exposure to hantavirus is to stop rodents from entering homes or cabins.
- Seal all holes large enough for mice to get in (dime-size or larger)
- Cover or pick up pet food dishes when they are not in use
- Store pet food in sealed containers
- Cover all trash cans with rodent-proof lids
- Use mouse traps where there is evidence of mouse activity
- Remove woodpiles, old cars, trash and debris where rodents may live
- Store hay or firewood at least 100 feet away from buildings
- Cut grass, weeds and trim bushes within 100 feet of buildings
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