By County News Center
San Diego, CA–Five deer mice and one brush mouse collected in routine monitoring in the Mount Laguna area have tested positive for hantavirus, county environmental health officials said this week.
It is not uncommon to find hantavirus in wild rodents in San Diego county — there were 25 detections in 2020 and 42 in 2019 — but people are rarely exposed to it. The virus can cause deadly infections in people and there is no vaccine or cure.
County officials are reminding people that if they find rodents in their homes, garages, sheds, or cabins they should never sweep up or vacuum up after them, but use “wet-cleaning” methods instead, to keep from breathing in the virus and getting sick.
People can be exposed to hantavirus when wild rodents shed it in their urine, feces, and saliva, the matter dries and is stirred into the air where people can breathe it in.
Because of that, county officials said people should never sweep or vacuum up if they find rodent nests or signs in their homes. If people must clean they should use “wet cleaning” methods — using bleach, disinfectants, rubber gloves, and bags.