Prevention of a hantavirus infection
Learn how to prevent being infected by a hantavirus.
How can a hantavirus infection be prevented?
There is no vaccine for hantavirus infection. The key to disease prevention is:
- preventing rodent infestations
- properly cleaning and disinfecting areas contaminated by rodent droppings
Keep your home, workplace, cottage or campsite rodent-free. All rodent droppings are potentially harmful. You should:
- block openings that might let rodents in
- store food, water and garbage in containers with tightly fitted lids
- place mousetraps throughout buildings
- keep your yard clean
- stack woodpiles away from buildings
Properly clean and disinfect areas contaminated by rodent droppings. Follow the steps below.
- Wear rubber or plastic gloves. If you are cleaning in a confined space, wear a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered respirator.
- Do not sweep or vacuum rodent droppings. This will release particles into the air, which you could then breathe in.
- Spray droppings with a household disinfectant or a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Let the area soak for 10 minutes to make sure any virus within the droppings will be killed.
- Wipe up wet droppings with paper towels or a wet mop if dealing with a large area.
- Wash gloves in disinfectant and hot soapy water before taking them off. Afterwards, wash your hands thoroughly.
- If a wet mop was used to clean the area, use disinfectant and hot soapy water to clean the mop.
Know the symptoms of a hantavirus infection. See a health care provider immediately if they develop.
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