Local & Regional
1:24 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Oklahoma Health Department Reports Death Due to Hantavirus

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports a Texas County man has died due to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.

Rats are carriers of hantavirus
Credit File Photo

The department says the death is the first due to since 2001 and is the third confirmed hantavirus death since it was first recognized in the U.S. in 1993.

Hantavirus is carried by wild rodents — particularly by deer mice in Oklahoma. The health department says the hantavirus is transmitted to humans when they breathe in air that's contaminated by particles from rodent droppings, urine or saliva. Early symptoms of hantavirus can include fever and muscle aches, chills, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and coughing.

The department warns residents to be particularly careful during spring cleaning of barns, vacant cabins and outbuildings.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Credit File Photo