Benton Franklin Health Department Still Getting Concern Citizens Calling About Hantavirus
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The Benton Franklin County Health Department continues to get about 10 calls a day of people concerned about getting the Hantavirus.
Tuesday evening there are several pending cases of people who could be infected with the virus. Health Department Official Heather Hill said they are waiting for test results to come back, but there have been no new reported cases.
A number of Health Department Officials think one of the reasons the Tri-Cities might have seen the increase in the hantavirus is because of all the rural areas turning suburban, many places that were once home to deer mice now being turned into new neighborhoods.
Senske Pest Control Official Gene Chafe expects more rodent control calls this fall because of the mild winter that the Tri-Cities experienced last year. He said they have already seen an increase in the amount of deer mice in the area.
Health Department Officials Susan Shelton said the hantavirus is spread through mice. It can infect people when the breath in dirt or dust that is contaminated with mouse urine or droppings.
Experts warn not to sweep or dust dead mice, droppings or nesting areas. They suggest spraying with a disinfectant and wear gloves when handling the waste.