Health News

New Mexico on alert: First fatal hantavirus case of 2024 emerges in San Juan county

First fatal hantavirus case of 2024 emerges in San Juan county | Credits: Adobe Stock

United States: The New Mexico Department of Health has announced that it has recorded its first-ever hantavirus case, a deadly respiratory illness, of the year 2024. The officials of the Health Department briefed that the confirmed case was from San Juan County.

As per the information revealed by the health officials, the man is now in the recovery stage and has been released from the hospital.

What exactly is hantavirus?

According to health experts, the Hantavirus is a severe, deadly, and fatal respiratory illness, which, in certain cases, can take the lives of infected humans. During the previous year, seven (7) residents of New Mexico got infected with the hantavirus. The infected individuals reported they belonged to McKinley, San Juan, and Taos counties.

In addition to this, two (2) of the people lost their lives to the virus.

Who are the primary carriers of the virus?

Health officials have underlined that the primary carriers of the virus are deer mice – as the virus is primarily found in mice droppings and urine. According to experts, the virus could be easily seen in areas with droppings, including around homes, cabins, and sheds.

A mice which may be carrying hantavirus | Credits: Google Images

What symptoms are experienced by an infected person?

According to health experts, generally, the symptoms of the disease occur within 1-6 weeks of exposure. Some of the common symptoms are listed as follows:

  • Fever,
  • Muscle aches,
  • Chills,
  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Cough,
  • Abdominal pain, and
  • Diarrhea.

While providing the details regarding the symptoms, the health experts emphasized that out of all the symptoms of the disease, abdominal pain and cough can cause respiratory distress and severe illness.

In addition to this, the health authorities also released a list of precautionary measures that may contribute towards protecting individuals from Hantavirus. Some of them are as follows:

  • Avoid exposure to rodents and their nests.
  • Continue trapping mice until they are all gone.
  • Ventilate enclosed structures like cabins, sheds, or stored vehicles before entering.
  • Secure homes and shelters to block entry points for rodents.
  • Apply a disinfectant, like a 10 percent bleach solution, to nests and droppings before cleaning.
  • Avoid sweeping up rodent droppings into areas where inhalation is possible.
  • Keep hay, wood, and compost piles distant from your residence.
  • Dispose of trash and junk piles appropriately.
  • Ensure that your pet’s food and water are not accessible to mice.

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