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Everything you need to know About Hantavirus how to reduce exposure

AKA: HANTAVIRUS PULMONARY SYNDROME (HPS)

Do I have Hantavirus?

Hantavirus is found in the urine, faeces, and saliva of infected rodents, particularly deer mice which have the highest incidence of infection among common rodents. Exposure to this virus can cause the development  Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). In North America, most cases of Hantavirus lead to the development of HPS and not HFRS

If you are experiencing Symptoms consistent with HPS or HFRS and you may have ingested, inhaled or come into contact with rodent faeces, you should seek immediate medical attention. Humans can contract hantavirus simply by inhaling dust contaminated with rodent faeces.

 

SYMPTOMS of HPS:

Symptoms appear after 1 to 6 weeks of exposure, symptoms include:

          Nausea & vomiting

          Stomach pain

          Headaches and muscle pain

          Tiredness

          Dizziness

          Coughing

          Fever and chills

Severe symptoms include:

          Shortness of breath

          Severe difficulty breathing

 

What should I do if I think I have hantavirus?

If you are showing symptoms of HPS and may have come into contact with a rodent or rodent faeces, seek medical attention from an appropriate health care provider immediately.  The sooner you get treatment, the higher the chances of survival.

 

How serious is hantavirus?

About 40% of patients diagnosed with HPS will not recover from their illness. There are currently no vaccines available, and infections can be fatal

Treatments include:

          Supportive Care

          Maintenance of oxygen levels

          Prevention of dehydration

 

When, where and how did I contract hantavirus?

You are at greatest risk of contracting hantavirus if there is an active rodent infestation in your living or working space. Rodent faeces, urine and saliva, can transmit the disease in a variety of ways. Breathing in contaminated dust from rodent droppings or urine can be enough to transmit the disease. Inhalation can occur when rodent waste is stirred up from vacuuming or sweeping. Being bitten by an infected rodent, touching any broken skin with contaminated material or ingesting contaminated food are all potential ways to contract the hantavirus.

In North America, five known rodents carry the hantavirus: the deer mouse, white-footed mouse, the cotton rat, rice rat and the red-backed vole

In order to cut off food supply for the rodent population and reduce your risk of contracting hantavirus, it is crucial to undertake a rigorous cleaning effort.

Be sure to clean up spilt food, wash dishes and cooking utensils before after use. Store all pet food in thick plastic or glass containers and keep bird feeders away from the house. Use only heavy duty garbage cans with an airtight lid, keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible (at least 100 ft).

 

How Addison can help prevent hantavirus

The best way to reduce your risk of contracting the hantavirus is to eliminate any potential contact with deer mouse and other rodent droppings, urine or saliva.

Rodents frequently invade homes with the onset of colder weather through open garage doors or structural insecurities. Rodents can multiply rapidly causing an infestation throughout your home. As the rodents forage for food to feed themselves and their young they will likely come into contact with unsealed food products as well as kitchen work surfaces and utensils.

At Addison, we have an award-winning record of addressing rodent infestations.

Perimeter Inspection

First, we aim to seal your home off from any potential entry points. By conducting a 360° perimeter inspection, inside and outside your home we locate potential entryways and seal them with a combination of spray foam, wire mesh, steel wool and vent grating. Rats can enter your home through a hole as small as a loonie and mice through holes as small as a nickel.

We inspect a variety of areas inside your home including: inside and underneath kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, and stoves, inside closets and pantries, around the fireplace, around doors, under sinks and washing machines, around hot water heaters and furnaces, around floor vents and dryer vents, attics, basements, laundry rooms, crawl spaces or room under the stairs, between floor and wall junctures.

Areas inspected outside your home include: on the roof, rafters, gables and eaves, around windows and doors, around the entire foundation, vents, sewage and electrical entry points and attic and crawlspace vents.

Bait Stations

After tracking areas of elevated rodent activity in your home, we place bait stations along rodent transit and foraging routes. These thick plastic tamper proof stations are baited with an anti-coagulant soft bait containing a desiccant. The bait will draw in rodents from a nearby radius and will cause them to die by haemorrhaging within three days. The desiccant in the bait will cause the infesting rodent to become thirsty. The rodents will likely exit the home and search for water sources outside before dying. If the rodent cannot exit the home and happens to die in an area where we cannot remove the carcas, the desiccant will prevent any foul odour and will accelerate the decomposition of the rodent.

 

Traps

A combination of a perimeter inspection and installation of bait stations is most often sufficient to eliminate a rodent infestation altogether. If a population of rodents is sceptical of bait stations, we move to professional grade snap traps and baited sticky traps.

 

Give us a call for a full outline of our rodent treatment process. We’re happy to give a free no-obligation quote over the phone.

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