The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in the United States, released the first human case of hantavirus in the state, a disease transmitted by infected rodents.
Through a statement, he detailed that it is a Washtenaw County woman who was hospitalized with a serious lung disease, caused by the hantavirus.
It is a rare but serious and sometimes fatal respiratory disease that can occur one to five weeks after a person is exposed to fresh urine, droppings or saliva from infected rodents, said Joneigh Khaldun, medical director of the health department.
Humans become infected when freshly dried materials contaminated by rodent droppings are disturbed and inhaled, enter wounds on the skin, mucous membranes, or ingest contaminated food or water.
Rodent bites can also transmit hantaviruses. However, the greatest risk of exposure occurs when entering or cleaning rodent-infested structures.
So far there are no documented cases of person-to-person hantavirus transmission in the United States.
While symptoms may be nonspecific at first, they include fever, chills, body aches, headache, and gastrointestinal signs such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
The disease can progress to include coughing and shortness of breath and has a mortality rate of 40 percent of cases.
Hantavirus infections are associated with domestic, occupational, or recreational activities that put humans in contact with infected rodents. Most cases have been identified in adults and tend to occur in spring and summer.