Can hantavirus pulmonary syndrome be prevented?
There isn’t a vaccine for hantavirus. Steps you can take to reduce your risk of HPS include:
- Stay away from places where rodents leave droppings
- Wear rubber gloves and a mask that covers your nose and face during exposure to mouse droppings
- Use disinfectant to sanitize areas containing mouse droppings so infected dust does not spread in the air
- Seal holes in and around your home so rodents cannot get in
- Trap rodents in and around your home to decrease the population
- Avoid leaving food out in your home and when camping
- Before entering spaces known to have rodents in them, air out the area
Eliminate or minimize contact with rodents in your home, workplace, or campsite. If rodents don’t find that where you are is a good place for them to be, then you’re less likely to come into contact with them. Seal up holes and gaps in your home or garage. Place traps in and around your home to decrease rodent infestation. Clean up any easy-to-get food.
Recent research results show that many people who became ill with HPS developed the disease after having been in frequent contact with rodents and/or their droppings around a home or a workplace. On the other hand, many people who became ill reported that they had not seen rodents or rodent droppings at all. Therefore, if you live in an area where the carrier rodents are known to live, try to keep your home, vacation place, workplace, or campsite clean.
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