Hantavirus is a rare but deadly disease that humans catch from infected rodents. About 35% of the people who contract the virus die from it. Hantavirus can infect anyone. Knowing about the virus and ways to prevent catching it can help protect you. Hantavirus is an airborne disease. The infection occurs when airborne virus particles from rodent droppings are inhaled. The virus does not spread from person to person.
In the western United States, deer and harvest mice are the main carriers of hantavirus. The disease does not affect the mice themselves. In San Diego County, deer mice are most found in rural areas, the desert and mountains. Avoid contact with all wild rodents, because they may also carry other diseases. Mice that commonly live with humans are house mice, not deer mice, and do not carry hantavirus.
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