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Published On: Sat, Nov 2nd, 2013

New Mexico: Santa Fe County woman dies from hantavirus

Deer Mouse Image/CDC

Deer Mouse
Image/CDC

New Mexico health officials are reporting the first ever fatality due to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in Santa Fe County in a 73-year-old woman.

This is the second case of HPS in New Mexico this year. The first case was reported in April in a McKinley County woman.

New Mexico has had a total of 93 lab-confirmed Hantavirus cases with 37 fatalities since the disease was discovered, the highest number of cases for any state in the nation.

LISTEN: Talking Plague And The Situation In New Mexico With Dr. Paul Ettestad

According to PubMed Health, Hantavirus is a life-threatening disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza.

Hantavirus is carried by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick.

It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with the dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time.

Hantavirus does not spread between humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides the symptoms of hantavirus between “early” and “late” symptoms.

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal.

There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.

Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a “…tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face” as the lungs fill with fluid.

HPS has a mortality rate of 38% according to the agency.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

 

 

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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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