Season’s first case of Hantavirus reported in Grant County
GRANT COUNTY, Wash. — Grant County health officials are warning residents about the dangers of Hantavirus after the first case of the year was reported on Friday.
According to a release from the Grant County Health District, the illness began in late April with flu-like symptoms and progressed to respiratory failure which required a hospital stay.
This is the first case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) reported in Washington this year and the 4th case reported in Grant County in the past decade.
Another Grant County resident survived Hantavirus illness this time last year, a reminder that the risk of exposure increases in the Spring.
HPS is a rare illness caused by a virus found in the urine, droppings, and saliva of infected rodents. Deer mice are the only carriers of the virus in Washington State. Because deer mice are present in all parts of Grant County, the risk is county-wide.
Humans can contract HPS by breathing in dust or by coming into direct contact with the excretions listed above. The illness cannot spread person-to-person.
The Grant County Health District takes cases like this very seriously although they are rare. Two cases that both occurred in 2012 were fatal.
Washington is the 5th leading state for HPS cases. On average, 1 to 5 confirmed cases are reported in WA each year and even though cases have occurred throughout our state, most have been reported from counties in central Washington.
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