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Hantavirus Detected In Rats in California

There was a scare of another disease outbreak in March this year when a person in China’s Yunnan Province who tested positive for Hantavirus was reported dead. Although the authorities at first stated that Hantavirus wasn’t something that should have Americans worried, environmental health authorities in California in the first week of July made a public announcement that they had found rodents that tested positive for the virus.

What is Hantavirus?

As per the Centers of Disease Control, hantaviruses are a group of viruses, spread mostly by rodents. The virus can cause the hantavirus disease which exhibits varied symptoms in infected people across the world.

In the Americas, this family of viruses is referred to as ‘New World’ hantaviruses. These viruses may cause HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome) disease. With a mortality rate of 38%, the disease can be fatal.

In Europe and Asia, different variants of these viruses have been found. Referred to as ‘Old World’ hantaviruses, they can cause the HFRS (hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) disease.

Is Hantavirus Contagious?

Different strains of hantaviruses found in different regions exhibit different characteristics.

While the North American strain of this virus does not spread from person to person, some outbreaks in South America proved the virus strain found here could get transmitted from one (infected) person to another.

Rare instances of person-to-person transmission of hantavirus have been found in Argentina and Chile in the past.

According to the CDC, illnesses resulting from strains of hantaviruses found in the U.S. cannot be transmitted from one infected individual to another.

Which Rodents in the United States Carry Hantavirus?

Cotton rat, deer mouse, rice rat, and white-footed mouse are known to carry hantavirus in the U.S.

Among these, the deer mouse is most likely to carry the virus. This rodent is found all over North America.

Rice rats are mostly found in the southeastern states while white-footed mice are most common in northeastern states.

Hantavirus in California

Health officials earlier this year had collected four wild mice as part of a regular monitoring exercise. These rodents included two California mice, one deer mouse, and one brush mouse. These rodents later tested positive for hantavirus.

According to the latest statistics available with the CDC, 61 cases of hantavirus infection had been found in California as of January 2017. The figure stood at 728 states for the U.S. The data has been compiled since 1993

Some new cases have been reported in California and neighboring regions since January 2017. In December 2019, a person was reported dead due to hantavirus in California.

Should A California Resident Be Worried About Hantavirus?

According to public health authorities, the risk of anyone catching hantavirus in California is low. But, you never know when the odds are stacked against you.

As long as you avoid contact with rodents, you do not need to worry about hantavirus in the U.S.

It is advisable to know how to protect yourself and your family members from hantavirus as well as other diseases spread by rodents, whether they are found in homes or in woodlands, deserts, or marshes near urban settlements.

How People Get Infected With Hantavirus

Hantavirus typically spreads from rodents to humans through airborne transmission. Tiny droplets containing the virus can get into the air or enter a person’s respiratory system when they directly touch a rodent or stir up their urine, droppings, nesting material, etc.

Scientists are still studying if touching one’s mouth or nose after touching rodent droppings, urine, etc. can lead to an infection. There’s no clarity on the exact incubation period of the virus.

The virus can also spread if a rodent bites a person but the CDC says this type of virus transmission is rare.

What Are the Symptoms of Hantavirus Infection?

An infected person shows symptoms resembling fever and flu such as body aches and headaches.

Early signs generally include muscle aches, fatigue, and fever.

Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting may also be there.

Initial symptoms of the disease resulting from hantavirus infection are often difficult to distinguish from pneumonia and influenza.

Final Words

Be sure to keep mice and rats out of your home. Instead of waiting for a rodent infestation to happen and get worse, you can take preventive measures such as rodent-proofing your house.  

Rats are already becoming an epidemic in LA.  

Do keep in mind that DIY methods for rodent control do not work as you’d expect them to be. It’s advisable to always hire certified rodent control professionals in LA or elsewhere in California.  

100's of Client Reviews!!

  • Paul K.Los Angeles, CA


    August 15, 2020

    I had a recurrent problem of rats winding up in my attic and had tried a couple of other pest control services over a few years, with the problem always recurring after a short while. I decided to give Rodents Stop a try after reading some of the reviews here on Yelp. They came out and explained how the (essentially temporary) measures I'd taken before would never really keep the rats away for good, due to the scents/pheromones that were remaining in my attic (leading them to keep trying to find ways in).

  • Kian A. Encino, CA


    August 15, 2020

    For months I denied the overwhelming reality-I had a major rat infestation! And all my efforts to quell the populating rodents were in vain. After the rats had chewed into my couch trying to get the food left behind by my kids, that's when I knew the problem was bigger than I could handle by myself. All the rat traps, from mechanical to electronic were no match for nature biggest little beasts. It was like trying to get Miley Cyrus to just go away, it's just not gonna happen.

  • Jay J.Northridge, CA


    August 15, 2020

    If you have a rodent problem, these are the guys to call! The lifetime guarantee is amazing; what better way to eradicate rodents and make sure they stay gone forever. They check the entire perimeter of your home--top to bottom--to ensure it is completely closed off to any future unwanted guests. They will make as many house calls as needed to address customer concerns. Seriously, give these guys a call. You won't regret it!

  • Daviozzz A. Los Angeles, CA


    August 15, 2020

    These guys really know what their doing. I had an ongoing problem for about 6 months, I could not sleep at night, my dog was driving me crazy. They came out and did their famous rodent treatment. No noises for about a month. Thank you guys.

  • Molly H. Los Angeles, CA


    August 15, 2020

    Zeev, Heather, Ivan and the rest of the team are fantastic! We knew there was some rodent activity in our attic, but didn't do anything about it until the nasty critters got into our home and actually chewed a hole in the hard plastic elbow of our dishwasher drain line! We called Rodent Stop, and Zeev came out for an inspection and gave us a quote the very next day. We were relieved to have a plan of attack, and Ivan and his team took over the next morning. They started early, and by mid-afternoon had cleared away all evidence of the rodent activity (including all the scent trails). In addition to getting rid of the existing evidence, the team had patched up all of the access points, and left some traps in all the areas that had shown prior signs of activity to avoid future activity. It has been a week, and we are ecstatic with the results. While we heard some scratching activity the first few days (which was likely coming from outside where Ivan's team had patched some access points), the scratching has now ceased. Zeev came back yesterday, and confirmed that all of the "inside" traps -- i.e., those in enclosed spaces (i.e., our living quarters, the attic and crawlspace) -- remain armed and undisturbed, which indicates to us that the patching did the trick. The only trap that went off is in an outdoor shed that needs overall repair, and can't be made rodent proof at this time. That trap did catch one mouse, which was removed and the trap replaced. Assuming there is no further activity between now and Friday, we'll move forward with the new insulation in the attic, and be done -- all in very short order. Thanks Rodent Stop!!!

  • Sean M. Los Angeles, CA


    August 15, 2020

    Rodents Stop made a lot of promises when they first came out, I thought it was to good to be true but wow, what an amazing service. From the office staff to the employees actually doing work. My problem was on going for about 2 years, I know right, who would deal with something for that long, the truth is that I tried other companies and they really didn't do much. Not to mention they didn't solve my problem. All other companies know how to do is set traps, they don't clean up, they don't seal openings, and they don't spray for disease. Also no one offers a life time guarantee like rodents stop. I like that. I feel like I just moved into a new house. It's been 2 months now and I'm actually getting some sleep at night. No dead rats in traps, no flies, nothing to do with rats or mice what's so ever. Thanks Rodents stop.

  • Rachael S. Bellflower, CA


    August 15, 2020

    I emailed them a couple of times desperate for service. It says they service the Los Angeles area (which should include Bellflower). I'm disabled and live alone with my small dog. I've been fighting mice for 2.5 years but am in desperate need for someone who really knows what they are doing and has a lifetime warranty because my dog and I have become infested with some kind of parasites that the mice brought in. I have several lesions and a huge infection on my back from the parasites. I left them my email and phone number with no response. I can't find another company with their experience, ratings, and guarantee and I'm really desperate for help and really disappointed they haven't contacted me. Again I emailed you last night, and got zero response today. I don't get it. As long as I give you the review you want, you ignore me? But as soon as you don't like my rating, you'll move heaven and earth to talk to me??

  • Paul M. Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA


    August 15, 2020

    We're selling our house and we needed to get take care of the mess that rats had done to our attic. Zev came out the next day and gave a fair quote for the job. The Rodents Stop crew came out the day after and took care of cleaning and patching the whole house in a timely manner. They were all very professional and very thorough. Heather on the phone was extremely delightful to deal with also. I highly recommend them!

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