A rodent collected in an open rural area in Chula Vista tested positive for hantavirus, the first local detection of the disease in 2022, was announced last Friday.
The wild vole, a small mouse-like rodent, was collected in routine monitoring and prompted county officials to remind people never to sweep or vacuum wild rodents if found in their homes, garages, sheds, cabins or other living places. spaces. People should use “wet cleaning” methods instead to avoid breathing in the virus and getting sick.
Rodent in Chula Vista tests positive
It’s not uncommon to find hantaviruses in wild rodents in San Diego County (there were 10 detections in 2021, down from 25 detections in 2020 and 42 in 2019), but people are rarely exposed because wild rodents tend to live far from houses. persons. The virus can cause fatal infections in people and there is no vaccine or cure.
People can be exposed to hantavirus when wild rodents shed the virus in urine, feces, and saliva, the material dries, churns in the air, and is inhaled by people.
To prevent exposure, residents should seal all external holes larger than a dime in homes, garages, and sheds to prevent rodent entry, eliminate rodent infestations immediately, avoid rodent infested areas, and not remove dust or materials that may be contaminated with rodent droppings and urine and clean up rodent droppings using the wet cleaning method.
The method consists of:
- ventilate the affected area by opening doors and windows for at least 30 minutes;
- wear gloves and spray a 10% bleach solution or other disinfectants on dead rodents, rodent droppings, nests, contaminated traps, and surrounding areas.
- clean with a sponge or mop soaked in disinfectant;
- place disinfected rodents and debris in two plastic bags, seal and dispose of in trash, wash gloves in bleach solution, then soap and water, and dispose of using the same double-bag method;
- wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.