Hantavirus - Prevention
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome; Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome
Avoid exposure to rodent urine and droppings.
- When hiking and camping, pitch tents in areas where there are no rodent droppings.
- Avoid rodent dens.
- Drink disinfected water.
- Sleep on a ground cover and pad.
- Keep your home clean. Clear out potential nesting sites and clean your kitchen.
If you must work in an area where contact with rodent urine or feces is possible, follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- When opening an unused cabin, shed, or other building, open all the doors and windows, leave the building, and allow the space to air out for 30 minutes.
- Return to the building and spray the surfaces, carpet, and other areas with a disinfectant. Leave the building for another 30 minutes.
- Spray mouse nests and droppings with a 10% solution of chlorine bleach or similar disinfectant. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Using rubber gloves, place the materials in plastic bags. Seal the bags and throw them in the trash or an incinerator. Dispose of gloves and cleaning materials in the same way.
- Wash all potentially contaminated hard surfaces with a bleach or disinfectant solution. Avoid vacuuming until the area has been thoroughly decontaminated. Then, vacuum the first few times with enough ventilation. Surgical masks may provide some protection.
- Reviewed last on: 3/11/2011
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Bell M. Viral hemorrhagic fevers. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 404.
Peters CJ. California encephalitis, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and bunyavirid hemorrhagic fevers. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Douglas and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 166.
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