Now five West Nile Virus fatalities in Mississippi, and deer mice test positive for Hantavirus in California



Mississippi  11/12/09  The Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) has reported another death in the state from West Nile Virus.  A Rankin County resident is the fifth person to die from the virus this year.  According to the MDH, there have been 53 human cases of the virus in several counties so far this year.  In 2008, there were 65 confirmed human cases of the mosquito-borne illness in the state, with three deaths.


California  11/10/09  Eight wild mice trapped in San Diego County during routine monitoring tested positive for hantavirus, it was announced Tuesday.  One of the mice was found in Escondido, while the others were discovered in the Tijuana River Valley, according to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health.  “As weather cools, rodents will begin to seek shelter indoors,” said Gary Erbeck, director of the DEH. “It is important to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds to prevent infection.

Hantavirus Deer Mouse

Deer Mouse

“People contract hantavirus by inhaling the virus, often when they are cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting materials,” he added. “Wet cleaning methods should be used to prevent inhaling the virus.”  Hantavirus is carried by wild rodents, primarily deer mice. The virus is found in rodent droppings and urine and can be inhaled by humans when it becomes airborne.


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