Second case of hantavirus discovered in Coconino County

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - Authorities say a second Coconino County resident has been diagnosed with hantavirus, but the woman is recovering.

Health officials said Wednesday that the woman lives in the county's southwestern area but didn't release her name, age or city where she resides.

County Public Health Services District officials say they're investigating where the woman contracted hantavirus, which is spread by infected rodent droppings.

Authorities say a Flagstaff woman died last month from complications of hantavirus.

Her name wasn't released.

Hantavirus is transmitted to people that come into contact with or breathe infected urine, droppings and-or saliva of wild mice, primarily deer mice.

The virus isn't spread from person to person.

Health officials say there have now been 23 confirmed hantavirus cases in Arizona since 2006 and 11 of those victims died.

To prevent contracting hantavirus, public health officials recommend the following ways to clean and rodent-proof your home.

Proper clean-up methods for areas that may have rodent activity:

Leave all doors and windows open for 30 minutes before cleaning.

Do not stir up dust by vacuuming, sweeping or any other means.

When rodent droppings or nests are found in and around the home, spray them liberally with a household disinfectant and allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes. Any rodent droppings and rodent nests should be sprayed with a pesticide to kill fleas before disinfecting or disposing the carcasses.

After disinfecting, wear rubber gloves and clean up the droppings with disposable materials such as paper towels, rags or disposable mop heads.

Seal all materials, droppings or nests in double plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash.

Rodent-proof your home:

Prevent rodents from entering the home by plugging or sealing all holes and gaps to the outside greater than 1/4-inch in diameter. Use steel wool, thick wire screen, metal flashing or cement to seal holes.

Eliminate or reduce rodent shelters around the home by removing outdoor junk and clutter, and by moving woodpiles, lumber, hay bales, etc., as far away from the house as possible.

Do not make food easily available to rodents. Do not leave pet food in dishes. Dispose of garbage in trash cans with tight-fitting lids.

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