SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The death of a 73-year-old Santa Fe woman is New Mexico’s second Hantavirus case this year.
Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents such as deer mice through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract it when they breathe in aerosolized virus.
Early symptoms include fever and muscle aches, possibly accompanied by chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cough which progresses to respiratory distress.
According to the state Health Department, the symptoms develop within several weeks after exposure.
Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Paul Ettestad says it’s important this time of year to seal up homes and other human-used structures to keep out mice trying to find shelter from the cold.