A western harvest mouse caught by San Diego County officials has tested positive for a virus called hantavirus, which can cause fatal diseases in humans and is spread easily via airborne particles.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Saturday:
A western harvest mouse collected Dec. 2 during routine monitoring in the Black Mountain Ranch community has tested positive for the hantavirus, which can lead to deadly diseases in humans.
Hantaviruses are a family of viruses mainly spread by rodents that can cause serious diseases in humans. One of the more notable is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a severe and sometimes fatal respiratory sickness with no cure.
County officials recommend that people avoid sweeping or vacuuming if they find dead rodents, rodent nests or other signs of rodents in their homes. Instead, residents should don rubber gloves, soak any rodents or waste in disinfectant and clean with a sponge or mop. Make sure to ventilate the area while cleaning, officials said.
Any waste should be placed into plastic bags and discarded in the trash, and cleaning supplies should be soaked in disinfectant. Hands should then be thoroughly washed.
Other deadly viruses, while rare, are also known to be endemic in rodents in Southern California. Bubonic plague, for example, and typhus, have been known to spread from rodents to human beings in the region, causing occasional outbreaks.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.