How do I protect myself from Hantaviruses?
Do the following things to minimize risk of hantavirus infection:
- Before occupying abandoned or usused cabins, open them up to air out. Inspect for rodents and do not use cabins if you find signs of rodent infestation.
- If you sleep outdoors, check potential campsites for rodent droppings and burrows.
- Do not disturb rodents, burrows or dens.
- Avoid sleeping near woodpiles or garbage areas that may be frequented by rodents.
- Avoid sleeping on bare ground, use a mat or elevated cots if they are available.
- Store foods in rodent-proof containers and promptly discard, bury, or burn all garbage.
- When cleaning rodent contaminated areas:
- avoid creating aerosols and stirring up dust
- use rubber gloves and a mask
- apply household disenfectants at maximum recommended concentration to dead rodents, rodent droppings, nests, contaminated traps and surrounding areas and allow for at least 15 minutes contact time before removal.
- clean the affected areas with paper towels or a mop, do not sweep or vacuum
- double bag the disinfectant-soaked rodent(s) and clean-up material securely in plastic bags and seal tightly
- before removing gloves, wash gloved hands in disinfectant, and then in soap and water. Throughly wash hands with soap and water after removing gloves. Dispose of gloves and clean-up materials with other household waste.
For more information go to our Summary of Rodent Diseases page or the Centers for Disease Control.
What is Arenavirus?
Arenavirus is a rodent transmitted viral disease. Arenavirus infections are relatively common in humans in some areas of the world and can cause severe illnesses. The arenaviruses are divided into two groups: the New World or Tacaribe complex and the Old World or LCM/Lassa complex. For more information go to our Summary of Rodent Diseases
page or the Centers for Disease Control