Saskatchewan health officials are advising the public to take precautions against hantavirus infections after reporting the fourth case and second fatality of 2014 in a northern Saskatchewan adult.
They note that deer mice, the animal that carries the disease, are present throughout Saskatchewan. Hantavirus is transmitted by breathing in contaminated airborne particles from the droppings, urine and saliva of infected deer mice.
“People should be aware of mouse droppings and nesting materials when cleaning buildings,” Saskatchewan’s Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Denise Werker said. “Take precautions to prevent direct contact and inhalation of particles that may be contaminated.”
“People should be aware of mouse droppings and nesting materials when cleaning buildings,” Werker said. “Take precautions to prevent direct contact and inhalation of particles that may be contaminated.”
Symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome include fever, muscle aches, cough, headaches, nausea, and vomiting followed by shortness of breath and respiratory failure. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare but usually severe disease that can lead to death.
There have been 30 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome reported in Saskatchewan since 1994, 10 of which resulted in death. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page