By County News Center
San Diego, CA–A wild vole ― a small, mouse-like rodent ― collected in routine monitoring in an open, rural area in Chula Vista has tested positive for hantavirus, the first local detection of the potentially deadly disease in 2022.
County officials are reminding people to never sweep up or vacuum up after wild rodents if they find them in their homes, garages, sheds, cabins, or other living spaces. People should use “wet-cleaning” methods instead to keep from breathing in the virus and getting sick.
Finding hantavirus in wild rodents is not uncommon in San Diego County and there is no vaccine or cure for it. However, people rarely come into contact with hantavirus because wild rodents tend to live away from people.
People can be exposed to hantavirus when wild rodents shed the virus in their urine, feces, and saliva, the matter dries, is stirred into the air and people breathe it in.
If people find wild rodents, nests, or signs of them in their living spaces and must clean, they should always use “wet cleaning” methods — using bleach or other disinfectants, rubber gloves, and bags. They should not sweep or vacuum, which could stir hantavirus into the air where it could be inhaled.