Give Em’ Health: Preventing Hantavirus

Hantavirus may not be on most Basin residents radar but the virus is carried by rodents in the TriCounty area and can be passed to humans. Deer mice carry the virus and do live throughout the Uintah Basin mostly in fields and remote areas, shares TriCounty Health epidemiologist Diana Oyler. The deer mice look different from house mice, having longer back legs and a kangaroo-like look. The virus is shed in the droppings, urine and saliva of infected rodents and humans are infected when they inhale dust that contains dried contaminated urine or feces. Oyler encourages residents to use caution when cleaning out old sheds or any activity that could cause dust in infected areas. Wear gloves, goggles, masks and spray down dusty areas with bleach water or anything to keep the fumes from coming up and being breathed in. Clean the area carefully. Hantavirus kills one in every three people infected. Signs of infection include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches before adding symptoms of respiratory illness with shortness of breath as the lungs fill with fluid. For more information, visit www.tricountyhealth.com.

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Kristin Baldwin

Kristin never planned to work in news radio but has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the news team at KVEL. Her love of literature and writing developed in high school which led her to study English Literature and Technical Writing at BYU. She received her BA in English from BYU in 2005 and studied at UVU in Orem for 2 semesters to become a Certified Technical Writer in 2006. Two months after completion she began her dream job of being a stay-at-home mom.  As mother of 2 energetic kids, she began writing from home for the KVEL news team in 2011 and considers it the perfect fit as a full time mom and part time writer.