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Mouse in Carmel Valley tests positive for hantavirus

A harvest mouse trapped during routine monitoring in the Fairbanks Ranch area of Carmel Valley tested positive for hantavirus, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health announced on Monday.

“We want to remind people to be aware that hantavirus is here in the county,” said Jack Miller, director of the DEH. “It is important to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds to prevent infection.”

“People contract hantavirus by inhaling the virus, often when they are cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting materials,” he said. “Wet cleaning methods should be used to prevent inhaling the virus.”

County Vector Control officials randomly sample wild mice to look for hantavirus.

Hantavirus is carried by wild rodents, primarily deer and harvest mice.

The virus is found in rodent droppings and urine and can be inhaled by humans when it becomes airborne, according to the DEH.