Increase in cases of hantavirus in Chile

Authorities are reporting an increase in the number of reported cases of hantavirus infection compared to last year. So far, a total of 24 cases have been reported from the regions of Bío-Bío, Los Ríos, Los Lagos, La Araucanía, Maule and Aysén. Six of the patients have died. Many of the infected people have been young persons participating in outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Hanta Virus.

Advice For Travellers

Contamination of dust, food, and hands with the dried urine and excreta of infected rodents, that is stirred up during cleaning of rodent-infested premises or during outdoor activities is the main way people become infected. Avoiding contact with rodents and creating dust when camping in affected areas can minimize risk. Travellers can also reduce the risk of exposure to hantavirus infection by wearing gloves and a mask when cleaning rodent infested areas. Sprinkle disinfectant on the floor before sweeping it to reduce the dust.

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