Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a potentially fatal disease that’s transmitted by rats, mice and other rodents. It’s characterized by flu-like symptoms that begin to manifest between 1-5 weeks after infection. Because it’s spread through the feces and urine of infected rodents, homeowners need to take the necessary precaution to exterminate and prevent rodents from accessing their home.
According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPS has a mortality rate of roughly 38%, making it an incredibly dangerous disease. Some people assume rodent infestations are merely a nuissance, but this disease reveals the potentially life-threatening complications that may arise when sharing a home with rodents. The symptoms of HPS are mild at first and then progress into more serious issues, such as fluid buildup in the lungs.
Symptoms of HPS:
- Muscle aches
- Body aches
- Tightness in chest
- Trouble breathing
- Fluid buildup in chest
What Causes The Hantivirus?
The hantavirus is transmitted to humans through the feces and urine of infected rodents. When a person touches the urine or feces of an infected rodent — and then touches their face or mouth — they may catch the disease. In addition, HPS is also transmitted through the air, meaning a person catch the disease simply by breathing in the air around an infected rodent’s urine or feces. The CDC states the following on their website:
“Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus.
Is HPS Transmittable Between Humans?
To date, there have been no known cases of HPS being transmitted from one person to another. A study was recently performed to determine whether or not HPS was transmittable between humans. During the study, researchers analyzed the data of healthcare workers who were given the task of caring for people with HPS. Researchers noted that none of the healthcare workers had caught the disease, leaving them to believe that it is not transmittable between humans.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for HPS, as doctors can only treat the symptoms caused by the disease.
How To Protect Yourself and Your Family Against HPS
Being that the disease is transmitted through rodents, the most important precaution you can take to protect yourself, and your family, against HPS is to keep rodents out of your home. If you’re struggling with a rodent infestation in your home, contact the Attic Guys today for a FREE house inspection.