Hantaviruses or HPS are a group of viruses that may be carried by some rodents. Some hantaviruses can cause a rare but deadly disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The disease is called HPS for short.
Only some kinds of mice and rats can give people hantaviruses that can cause HPS. In North America, they are the deer mouse, the white-footed mouse, the rice rat, and the cotton rat.
Since it is hard to tell if a mouse or a rat carries a hantaviruses, it is best to avoid all wild mice and rats and to safely clean up any rodent urine, droppings, or nests in your home. Dogs and cats cannot give people hantaviruses infections.
How do people get HPS? People get HPS when they breath in hantaviruses. This can happen when rodent urine and droppings that contain a hantavirus are stirred up into the air. People can also become infected when they touch mouse or rat urine, droppings, or nesting materials that contain the virus and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. They can also get HPS from a mouse or rat bite.
Clean-up tip: Do not sweep or vacuum up mouse or rat urine, droppings, or nests. This will cause virus particles to go into the air, where they can be breathed in.
If your attic is contaminated with rat droppings, rat urine or rat nests, it is important to have a professional clean it up. Hantaviruses is nothing to fool around with, you could get sick. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Safe-Homes in S. Florida at (954) 531-6476.