Yakima Health District promoting hantavirus awareness - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Health District promoting hantavirus awareness

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YAKIMA--Cleaning out your shed or camper?  The Yakima Health District wants you to be safe while you do that spring cleaning.

The hantavirus is contracted from inhaling dust from the droppings of rodents.

It can lead to fever, aches, fatigue and, in the most severe cases, death.

Yakima Health District Administrator Dennis Klukan says the best way to avoid the hantavirus is to properly clean up droppings.

"Make sure you wet [the droppings and surrounding area] down and use a bleach solution," Klukan said.  "Wear a mask, and try to get it out without using a vacuum cleaner."

Klukan advises against using a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove droppings because those actions can stir up and spread dust particles around a room.

While the hantavirus is pretty rare, Klukan said roughly one in three people who contract the disease end up dying.

For the full list of tips, click the link to the Health District's web site.