Michigan confirms first human hantavirus case

Michigan well being officers on Monday reported the state’s first confirmed human case of the lethal hantavirus.

The rat-borne sickness, which U.S. well being officers say can’t be transmitted from person-to-person, is often handed to sufferers once they breathe in air contaminated with the virus via rodent droppings.

The confirmed case underneath investigation by county and state well being officers concerned a girl in Washtenaw County, “not too long ago hospitalized with a severe pulmonary sickness from Sin Nombre hantavirus,” in line with a launch from the Michigan Division of Well being & Human Providers. “The person was doubtless uncovered when cleansing an unoccupied dwelling that contained indicators of an energetic rodent infestation.”

It’s additionally doable to contract the virus via a chew from an contaminated rodent, or if folks contact one thing that has been contaminated with rodent urine, droppings or saliva after which contact their very own nostril or mouth. It could even be doable to contract the virus by consuming meals contaminated by an contaminated rodent’s droppings, urine or saliva, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC).


Michigan officers defined hantavirus was first tied to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in sick sufferers in southwest U.S. in 1993, although the earliest case entails a Utah man in 1959, in line with the CDC. Most infections have been reported amongst adults, and crop up within the spring and summer time.

Signs of the illness embrace fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, in addition to complications, dizziness, chills and belly pains. Late signs might embrace coughing and shortness of breath, and the illness has a few 40% fatality price. A number of of the signs mimic the indicators for COVID-19.

“We are able to forestall and scale back the danger of hantavirus an infection by taking precautions and being alert to the opportunity of it,” Dr. Juan Luis Marquez, medical director with Washtenaw County Well being Division, mentioned in a press release. “Use rubber, latex, vinyl or nitrile gloves when cleansing areas with rodent infestations, ventilate areas for a minimum of half-hour earlier than working, and ensure to moist areas totally with a disinfectant or chlorine answer earlier than cleansing.”

Fox Information’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

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