Hantavirus disease is a rare but potentially fatal infection that is spread by deer mice and other rodents. People get infected when they inhale airborne particles contaminated by the saliva or excretions of infected rodents.
Controlling rodents, identifying sources of infection, cleaning buildings and worksites, and minimizing exposures will reduce the risk of infection. Flu-like or pneumonia-like symptoms following potential exposures to sources of infection should be promptly reported to a doctor for treatment.
Over 17 people in Saskatchewan have been diagnosed with Hantavirus infections. Approximately one-half of these cases involved exposures in a rural or farm setting. Although the disease is rare, it is advisable to take common sense precautions to prevent hantavirus and other rodent-borne infections.