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Rodents Can Kill, Tuba City Health Program Raises Awareness of Hantavirus

Rodents Can Kill, Tuba City Health Program Raises Awareness of Hantavirus
March 21
15:09 2016

The professionals at the Tuba City Health Education Program want people to be very aware of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. It is a respiratory disease that claims lives. The main culprits in the spread of the disease are rodents.

Rosita Beno is the Senior Health Educator at the Tuba City facility and she stopped-in at Lake Powell Communications the other day to help get the word out to keep your home clean and to be on the lookout for rodents, dead rodents, rodent nests, food piles, rodent dropping and urine.hantavirus mouse

If you find any of the above in your home, take action right away.

Open your doors and windows for an hour.

Use can lids or metal lids to seal out rodents.

Use a mouse trap with peanut butter to trap.

Beno tells us rodents and rats are pretty common on the reservation.

“It’s common throughout the nation,” she said. “They’re all over.”

Therefore, if someone comes in with symptoms that could be related to Hantavirus, these people are asked questions to determine if they might be a victim of the illness.

They check them out and ask them questions about whether they’ve been around rodents. If so, they then take measures to find out if they simply have a cold or the flu, or if in fact, they may have the Hantavirus.

“We want people to keep their homes clean, and also around their homes,” said Beno.

Beno makes it clear that the disease is not spread person to person. You can get it if you are exposed to an infected rodent

The rodents that can carry Hantavirus are the deer mouse, cotton rat, rice rat and the white-footed mouse. Since it is usually not possible to tell if a rodent is infected, it’s best to be safe and stay clear.

According to Beno there is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine for Hantavirus. The CDC says the disease has a more-then 33% fatality rate. There have been deaths on the Navajo Nation in the recent past.

For information on Hantavirus call 928-283-2812.

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