Crestone Eagle, September 2006:
Hantavirus case reported in Saguache County
by Mary Lowers
According to the Saguache County Health Department,
a case of Hantavirus was reported in the County. The area
of the County where the case in July was reported has had
an increase in populations of some rodent hosts of the disease,
due to increased vegetation and unusually wet weather. (It
is rumored, but not confirmed, that this case was in the Crestone/Baca
area) An increase in hantavirus cases with increased moisture
has been noted statewide. Deer mice and other rodent carriers
of hantavirus are usually found in rural rather than urban
areas. There were three cases total reported in the Valley
in 2005, an average of one per year from 2001 to 2005.
Saguache County Health Department shared the following information
with me about Hantavirus. The incubation period for the virus
varies widely but is generally from 1-6 weeks. Symptoms may
include fever, headache, muscle pain, severe abdominal, joint
and lower back pain, nausea and vomiting. Coughing and shortness
of breath develop quickly from the onset of symptoms. Fluid
buildup in the lungs can quickly progress to respiratory failure.
There are no effective drug treatments currently for Hantavirus.
If you have had exposure to rodents and experience the symptoms
mentioned, notify a physician as soon as possible. A quick
diagnosis is very important in managing care and hopefully
insuring a successful outcome of treatment. Call Saguache
County public health office with any questions at 719-655-2533.
Further information may be obtained at the website www.cdphe.state.co.us.
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