District laboratory staff conducted a rodent survey for hantavirus with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) staff on June 4-5 in La Honda. Peromyscus truei (pinyon mice) and Peromyscus californicus (parasitic mice) were trapped and blood samples were taken for testing. Kidney samples from any mice with positive blood samples will also be tested by the CDPH to be used for a study of the geographical distribution of different hantavirus strains in California. Twenty-seven Peromyscus truei and seven Peromyscus californicus were captured during the rodent survey. Results are currently pending.
Hantavirus is usually contracted when a person inhales dried mouse urine or feces within a confined space that has been sealed and infested with deer mice. When first entering a building that might have deer mice within it, such as sheds or seasonal cabins in rural areas, open all doors and windows for at least 30 minutes. Before cleaning, wet down all surfaces with a bleach solution before mopping. Avoid using brooms or vacuums, which could blow particles into the air. There is no cure for hantavirus, but seeking prompt medical care increases the chance of survival.