What is Hantavirus & How Can You Protect Yourself?

The hantavirus has recently crept its way into the San Diego area. The virus, spread by mice, is currently incurable. Doctors also often misdiagnose the virus, as early-stage symptoms are similar to the flu. As a result, the number of deaths from the hantavirus has grown in the US over the last few years. Here’s what you need to know about cases of the hantavirus San Diego epidemic and the steps you need to follow to stay safe.

Found in Rodents Throughout San Diego County

The hantavirus is mostly found in mice. For this reason, it’s essential to keep these animals out of your home and other key places like sheds, garages, and attics. The hantavirus is spread through mice droppings and saliva, which means you do not even have to come into direct contact with the animal to be exposed. Likewise, it’s important to avoid sweeping or vacuuming dirty areas as this can spread virus particle into the air.

A Better Cleaning Strategy

To avoid contagion, it’s better to use wet cleaning methods, as opposed to the aforementioned dry ones. This method ensures that contagions are contained rather than spread throughout the air. This method includes wearing gloves, spraying dead rodents and droppings with bleach solutions, and using water and mops to clean infected areas. It’s also important to double-bag any related trash to be sure all debris is safely sealed.

Key Strategies for Avoiding the Hantavirus

Rodents infected with the hantavirus generally tend to live in undeveloped areas away from people. However, they do sometimes build nests inside homes or lower traffic spaces. For this reason, it’s important to avoid exposure to hantavirus by doing the following:

  • Following rodent proofing strategies like sealing all external holes larger than a dime in homes, garages, and attics to prevent rodents from entering.
  • Eliminating any rodent infestation right away.
  • Avoiding any places rodent may have infested. Do not sweep or vacuum any material that may be contaminated with droppings and saliva.
  • Using the wet cleaning methods below to clean rodent droppings and nests.

Wet-cleaning methods

  • Make sure area is well-ventilated by opening doors and windows for at least 30 minutes before cleaning.
  • Wear a ventilator mask to protect from cleaning fumes and to reduce risk of contamination.
  • Wear rubber gloves and spray a bleach solution/or disinfectant onto any dead rodents, droppings, traps and nearby areas. Let the disinfectant soak for 15 minutes before cleaning.
  • Use a mop to clean.
  • Double bag and seal rodents and debris and throw away in the trash.
  • Disinfect gloves, sponge, and mop in a bleach solution. Then, clean them in soap and water. Then, double bag them and throw away using same method as above.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands.

Best Solution for the Hantavirus San Diego

There’s nothing pleasant about the hantavirus. The best thing you can do is avoid exposure to it. If you have a rodent infestation in your house or suspect one, then be sure to contact Attic Construction. We can help not only with rodent removal, but with attic decontamination and proofing as well to prevent infestations in the future so you never have to worry about the hantavirus in your home.

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