The Hantavirus is an infection that can cause what is known as Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. HPS is a severe respiratory disease in humans that can be fatal. Individuals are at an increased risk of catching HPS due to encounters with mice. Rodents can carry the Hantavirus and exposure to humans will result in transmission of the disease.
In Canada and the United States, the deer mouse is the carrier of the Sin Nombre virus which is a type of Hantavirus and the top cause of HPS cases. Deer mice carry the virus and shed it via their urine, droppings and salvia. The main way that humans contract the virus is by breathing air that has been contaminated. Airborne transmission occurs when fresh urine, mouse droppings or materials from their nests are stirred up. Droplets containing the virus go into the air and then are breathed in by humans.
There are many ways that a mouse can spread the Hantavirus to humans. If the infected mouse were to bite a human, then the virus would spread via saliva. However, this transmission type is rare. Researchers feel that if humans touch something that is contaminated with mouse droppings, urine or saliva then they will be infected if they then touch their mouth or nose.
Researchers also feel that individuals can catch the virus if they were to eat food that had been contaminated as well. This could happen as mice tend to raid kitchen cabinets. If an individual were to eat something that had touched droppings, urine or saliva, then the infection could occur.
Primary risk for exposure occurs when you find mice in the home. If you notice mice are running around your home, or you see droppings or chew signs of mice, contact the experts. You need to have the mice removed in case they are infected with the Hantavirus. Consider this. Three mice are living in your home and are infected with the Hantavirus. They are living in the walls and attic space, leaving behind urine and droppings. You go to clean the attic and begin sweeping up the mess you find. This can lead to particles in the air that contain the virus and you are instantly infected.
To avoid catching the Hantavirus which leads to HPS in humans, be sure to have an expert team come to your home and evaluate your mouse problem. Once the issue has been discovered, a plan can be created to remove the mice and help you reclaim your home. Wildlife technicians will be able to suggest options for cleaning up after the mice have been removed to avoid any contamination of the virus so you and your family remain healthy and safe.
To learn more about the Hantavirus and mice removal, contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. With years of experience in animal removal, Skedaddle will be able to assist you with any mouse problem, no matter how big or small. Schedule an appointment to have your home evaluated or to find out the common signs of a mouse infestation in the home.