Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe disease caused by the virus called hantavirus. Symptoms are similar to the flu and include fever, sore muscles, headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, and shortness of breath. In Canada and the United States, the disease is very rare, but serious. In North America, about 1 out of 3 people with HPS have died. For more information about HPS, see HealthLinkBC File #36 Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).
You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a health service representative any time, every day of the year.
Use extreme caution when cleaning rodent-infested areas. Take the
following precautions to avoid becoming infected with
Wear rubber or plastic gloves at all times while
Before you start cleaning, open all doors and windows
for at least 30 minutes. Stay out of the area until the 30 minutes is up. If you are in an
enclosed place, you may also want to wear goggles and a respirator with a
filter to avoid breathing contaminated dust.
Do not stir up dust by sweeping up or vacuuming up droppings,
urine, or nesting materials. Instead, wet all areas to be cleaned with a household disinfectant, such as Lysol, or a solution of bleach and water. To dilute
household bleach, follow the directions on the label. Make sure you also treat the dead rodents, their nests, and droppings.
Clean up droppings or nest materials with paper towels or rags and place them in plastic bags. Place dead rodents in plastic bags. Seal each bag before throwing it away in the garbage.
use a spring-loaded snap trap, you can clean it by pouring very hot water on it.
When you have finished cleaning and disposing of the rodents and
other contaminated materials:
Wash your gloves in disinfectant solution or soap
and water before you take them off.
Thoroughly wash your hands with
soap and water after you take off the gloves.
If you have an area that is heavily infested with rodents, call a
professional exterminator to remove them. You also can contact your local
health unit for help.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology Leslie Tengelsen, PhD, DVM -