Sporadic cases of hantavirus occur in many western countries

Travellers should be aware that sporadic cases of hantavirus pulmonary infections continue to be reported from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, United States of America, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Dust, food, and hands that are contaminated with the dried urine and excreta of infected rodents are the main source of hantaviruses. When the dust is stirred up during cleaning of rodent-infested places, people inhale the virus and become infected. Travellers can 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 in the air.

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

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