INYO, CA - A local resident of Inyo County was hospitalized with an illness that is highly suspect of being caused by hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), according to Rick Johnson, a Public Health Officer for Inyo County.
Those infected with hantavirus show "influenza-like illness" symptoms, which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, coughing, or respiratory difficulty.
Rodents, more particularly the deer mouse, carry the virus that causes HCPS.
Hantavirus spreads to humans when fresh droppings, urine, saliva, or nesting materials from rodents contaminate the air, and are inhaled by humans, according to Johnson.
At normal room temperature, hantavirus is able to live in the environment for 2-3 days.
The virus is killed by the sun's UV rays, according to Johnson.
Transmission of the virus peaks during the spring and summer months.
According to Johnson, in the United States, hantavirus cannot be transmitted from one person to another, nor from farm animals, dogs, cats, or rodents purchased at a pet store.