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Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2013

Hantavirus the cause of at least one death in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan health officials are confirming the death of an adult male in west central Saskatchewan from complications resulting from hantavirus, according to a news release today.

The fatality was from the  Heartland Health Region.

Deer Mouse Image/CDC

Deer Mouse
Image/CDC

A second death in the same health region is being investigated to determine if it was also caused by hantavirus.  Officials do not believe the cases are connected.

“Symptoms of hantavirus include fever, muscle aches, cough, headaches, nausea, and vomiting,” Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.  “If a person develops a fever, coughing and shortness of breath within one to six weeks of exposure to mouse-infested areas, they need to seek immediate medical attention.”

In rare cases, symptoms may get worse and lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a rare but often fatal illness.  HPS can progress rapidly into serious lung complications

“The people who are most often exposed are farmers, grain handlers, cottagers, campers and home owners,” Ministry of Health Zoonotic Diseases Consultant Phil Curry said.  “Everyone should take precautions when cleaning rodent-infested areas to prevent direct contact and inhalation of air particles that may be contaminated.”

Hantavirus does not spread between humans.

Including the most recent confirmed case this year, there have been 24 cases of hantavirus and seven deaths reported in Saskatchewan since 1994.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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