Placer County Health Officials Urge Precautions to Avoid Hantavi - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Placer County Health Officials Urge Precautions to Avoid Hantavirus After Recent Death

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Health officials say a Placer County resident who died recently tested positive for hantavirus and they are urging everyone to precautions against the virus. 

Authorities say the unidentified resident likely got the virus from rodents in a private residence in the Lake Tahoe region. Health officials do not believe the public is at ongoing risk from the source of infection associated with this fatality. 

Hantavirus can be carried by rodents, which shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. Health officials say people get infected when they breathe air contaminated with the virus. Most commonly this happens when someone stirs up rodent droppings or nesting material while cleaning a contaminated room such as a shed or a cabin. The virus is not transmitted person-to-person.

Symptoms of hantavirus infection typically appear within two to four weeks after an exposure, but can appear as early as one week or as late as eight weeks after infection. First symptoms are like the flu: fever, headache and abdominal, back and joint pain. Sometimes there is nausea and vomiting. The main symptom is difficulty breathing, which is caused by fluid building up in the lungs. People should seek medical help if symptoms appear after direct or indirect exposure to rodents, but especially if they experience difficulty breathing.

The Centers for Disease Control offers more information on this page.

(Placer County contributed to this report.)

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