Hantavirus claims a second life in Saskatchewan this year

REGINA – Provincial health officials are confirming a second person in Saskatchewan has died from hantavirus.

There have been four cases of hantavirus reported this year, including the two deaths. The most recent death was an adult in northern Saskatchewan.

Symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome include fever, muscle aches, cough, headaches, nausea and vomiting, which is followed by shortness of breath and respiratory failure.

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“Seek medical attention immediately if you develop a fever, muscle aches, coughing and shortness of breath within one to six weeks of exposure to mouse-infested areas,” Saskatchewan’s Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Denise Werker said.

Hantavirus is transmitted by breathing contaminated airborne particles from the droppings, urine and saliva of infected deer mice.

“People should be aware of mouse droppings and nesting materials when cleaning buildings,” Werker said. “Take precautions to prevent direct contact and inhalation of particles that may be contaminated.”

There have been 30 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome reported in Saskatchewan since 1994 and 10 of them have resulted in death.