PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota Health Department official says people should guard against the risk of Hantavirus infection as cooling temperatures cause rodents to move indoors.
Hantavirus is carried by rodents. It can lead to respiratory problems that can be fatal.
State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says routine rodent control is particularly important now as rodents look to move inside. But he notes that there's a risk for Hantavirus year-round.
Kightlinger says South Dakota has reported 15 cases of Hantavirus and five deaths since the disease was first detected in 1993.
He says to control mice and prevent Hantavirus infection, people should seal gaps in their houses, set traps where mice are detected, wear plastic gloves to clean up dead mice or droppings, and disinfect areas of mice urine or droppings.