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Hantavirus Warning Issued In British Columbia

Health officials have warned the residents of British Columbia to be cautious about spring-cleaning in areas that are infested by deer mice, after reports were conformed on the death of a 14-year-old boy and a Washington state woman who died from hantavirus. //

Reports have said that the 14-year-old, Naramata-area boy, who was previously healthy, began feeling ill two weeks ago, He was initially hospitalised for respiratory distress in the south-central British Columbia town on 11th of June. He was then transferred to British Columbia Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where he died Friday. He was the fifth resident of the province in about a decade to die of Hantavirus that is transmitted mostly by deer mouse droppings.

The British Columbia Center had issued a warning for Disease Control after Sara M. Shields-Priddy, 44, who resided north of Lynden, Wash., near the international border also died of Hantavirus on March 22. The health officials have explained that the risk of Hantavirus usually rises when the dried mouse droppings are stirred into the air during spring-cleaning, especially in rural cabins, barns, and garages and are inhaled.

Health Officer of the Whatcom County Greg Stern explained that Shields-Priddy had a long history of exposure to rat droppings and debris in a storage area, and that the boy who died also lived in an area known to be infested with deer & mouse droppings.

It was reported that in May, a 49-year-old eastern Idaho man had died from Hantavirus, which prompted the officials at the Idaho's Central Health District to issue a Hantavirus warning. It was said that since 1978 there have been 21 cases of Hantavirus diagnosed in Idaho of which seven were fatal.

Officials with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings that the environmental conditions this year could increase the risk of human exposure to Hantavirus.


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