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Hanta Virus and Mice

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From: Mary Carroll
Chicago, IL
Every time I send a message, your website says it did not go through. This is my third try, so I hope that it does. A little mouse died in my bed last Sunday. It was brown with a white stomach. Should I be worried about the Hanta Virus? I felt him in my hair! An exterminator is coming to clean up the attic. He already baited. He also closed up the hole. I read online that they should not use a vacuum, but they intend to vacuum everything up with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Will the dead mice in my walls cause a problem?

Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
The IL Dept. of Public Health recommends not vacuuming, but instead cleaning with either Lysol, bleach solution, or with detergent. See here for more information:

As long as the material in the wall is not disturbed, I think you will be fine.

Hantavirus cases are rare, but they can be fatal. So watch for flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, muscle aches, etc). for the next 5 weeks. If you have these, along with shortness of breath, I recommend seeing your doctor and telling them that you've had contact with deer mice.

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