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EHS Pest Control

RI, MA EHS Pest Control Blog

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Mice eat wiring, SGI pays $25K amid hantavirus fears

24 Oct 2016

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Court hears concerns over deadly virus meant SUV couldn't be repaired

EHS Mice Control in MA, RI

An SUV that had its electrical wiring chewed on by mice was written off by Saskatchewan Government Insurance after concerns were raised about hantavirus.

A recent Regina court case contained details of the 2014 incident in which mice infested a 2008 Land Rover and knocked out the electrical system.

"SGI felt that the vehicle should be written off," the decision posted May 10 on the Canlii legal database says.

"Their investigation revealed that a significant portion of the electrical wiring had been eaten through by mice."

For health and safety reasons, repairing the vehicle was not an option.

"Because there were mouse droppings in and throughout the vehicle, it could not be fixed for fear of contracting hantavirus, a particularly deadly virus found in mouse droppings," the decision said.

SGI eventually paid the owner just under $25,000 — which it felt was the fair market value of the vehicle.

The insurer paid the claim because, in their view, "the loss of the vehicle arose by virtue of accidental means rather than as a result of mechanical failure."

Illnesses caused by hantavirus have resulted in 10 deaths in Saskatchewan since 1994.

The virus is spread through deer mouse droppings.

If you need help to get rid of rodents and mice safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: cbc.ca

Yosemite Officials: 1,700 Visitors Potentially Exposed to Hantavirus

09 Oct 2013

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Visitors who stayed in some of the dwellings in June, July and August, may have been exposed to the disease that also caused two other people to fall ill.

The rustic tent cabins of Yosemite National Park have become the scene of a public health crisis after two visitors died from a rodent-borne disease following overnight stays.

On Tuesday, park officials sent letters and emails to 1,700 visitors who stayed in some of the dwellings in June, July and August, warning them that they may have been exposed to the disease that also caused two other people to fall ill.

Those four people contracted hantavirus pulmonary syndrome after spending time in one of the 91 “Signature Tent Cabins” at Curry Village around the same time in June. The illness is spread by contact with rodent feces, urine and saliva, or by inhaling exposed airborne particles.

After the first death, the park sanitized the cabins and alerted the public through the media that the cause might have been diseased mice in the park.

However, officials did not know for sure the death was linked to Yosemite or the campsite until the Centers for Disease Control determined over the weekend that a second visitor, a resident of Pennsylvania, also had died.

Hantavirus Claims Two Lives

17 Aug 2012

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Hantavirus Claims Two Lives

Two Utahns died last month from hantavirus, the first confirmed cases of the year and first fatalities from the virus since 2009, say health officials, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"We usually have about one case a year. Sometimes they survive and sometimes they don’t," said JoDee Baker, an epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health. "But to have two fatalities so early in the season was why we wanted to get the word out."

Officials will not release the names of the deceased. Both were adults between the ages of 20 and 65. One lived in Millard County and the other in Salt Lake County, but it’s unclear where they were infected.

"We know they had rodent exposure," because that’s how the virus is spread, she said."We just don’t know where. We’re still investigating."

Summer is peak season for hantavirus, which is carried predominantly by deer mice in North America.

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 

Rodents Hantavirus On The Rise

23 Nov 2011

Posted by John D. Stellberger

HantaVirus Found in Trapped Rodents

Six rodents trapped during routine monitoring in the last week in North County and East County have tested positive for the potentially-deadly hantavirus.

Infected rodents rarely pose a danger to people if they are in the wild and there has been just one non-fatal human case in the county, in 2004. But people can inhale hantavirus by stirring up rodent droppings, then get sick and even die. There is no treatment, vaccine or cure for hantavirus infections, which are deadly in 38 percent of cases.

“People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings or nesting material when they find it,” said Jack Miller, director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “Instead, they should ventilate closed areas for at least 30 minutes, and then carefully use bleach or a full-strength disinfectant before removing them.”

The best way people can prevent the disease is to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds by sealing holes larger than the size of a dime, County officials said.

Hantavirus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which begins with flu-like symptoms but can grow into severe breathing difficulties and even death.

The rodents that tested positive during the last week included: two deer mice from Campo; one deer mouse each from Carlsbad and Escondido; one harvest mouse from Oceanside and a vole from Carlsbad. Thirty-seven rodents have tested positive for hantavirus in the county this year, compared to 21 in 2010.

Source: Associated Press

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA

Mouse Virus Kills Man

08 Sep 2011

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Mouse Virus Kills Montauk Man

A task as simple as vacuuming out the basement after a flood may have cost a Montauk man his life.

Chiropractor David Hartstein, 35, died last week from a rare lung infection blamed on contamination from infected mice and rodents.

According to public health professionals, humans can become infected by inhaling microscopic particles of diseased rodent droppings, urine or saliva.

Hartstein's death from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome has shocked neighbors who saw him alive and seeing patients as recently as last Thursday.

"I was supposed to see him again Saturday," said Charles Flynn, who told NBC New York he still couldn't believe it.

Hantavirus is rare and sporadic. This case marks only the second confirmed and deadly incidence in New York state in the last 15 years.

Health officials have said they believe this case is isolated, but have also urged Suffolk County residents to take precautions against mice and rodent infestations in their homes.

Among the recommendations: store food in closed containers and seal tiny holes and spaces in floors, walls and under doors.

Symptoms of contamination may not manifest for up to five weeks. Physical signs include high fever, muscle pain, coughing and headaches. Respiratory problems may worsen after a few days and can prove fatal.

"It is devastating," said Geeta Jirham, one of Hartstein's neighbors.

Health officials have advised against contact with rodent droppings or urine. Any cleanup should be done with rubber gloves and a solution of detergent and bleach, and the debris deposited in a double-sealed plastic bag for disposal.

Source: Online NewsPress

George Williams
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA

More Hantavirus From Mice Confirmed

22 Aug 2011

Posted by John D. Stellberger

A fifth case of Hantavirus has been confirmed in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Department of Health says a 59-year-old woman from McKinley County is hospitalized at University Hospital in critical condition with the infection.

Three people have died from Hantavirus in the state this year while a 39-year-old man from McKinley County has recovered from the infection, which is transmitted through rodents feces, urine and saliva. People usually catch the infection by breathing in dust from areas of rodent infestations.

Early symptoms of Hantavirus infection include fever and muscle aches, possibly with chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cough, which progresses to respiratory distress.

Symptoms develop within one to six weeks after rodent exposure. Chances for recovery are better if medical attention is sought early.

Source = Associated Press

George Williams
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA

Rodent Virus Kills Man

08 Aug 2011

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Rodent-Borne Virus Blamed in Death

A rare rodent-borne illness killed a 35-year-old chiropractor last week in Montauk, N.Y., state officials said Thursday.

David Hartstein started feeling ill nearly two weeks ago, according to Juline Godin, a close friend of his widow, Heather. At first, he and his wife thought it was the flu or Lyme disease. But before dawn on June 17, Hartstein had trouble breathing and started shaking and sweating, Godin said.

His wife called an ambulance that took him to Southampton Hospital, where his condition continued to deteriorate quickly as doctors scrambled to figure out what was wrong, Godin said. Hartstein died that evening.

Hartstein’s death is just the second confirmed case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the state since 1995, according to the New York Department of Health. The other case was also fatal. There were 20 confirmed hantavirus cases nationwide in 2010 — mostly in the West, according to the department.

The lung infection is caused by a microbe sometimes found in the rodent droppings, saliva or urine. Health officials said Hartstein’s death appears to be an isolated case.

Family and friends suspect that Hartstein inhaled microscopic particles containing the virus while vacuuming out his family’s basement after a small flood nearly a month ago, Godin said.

Godin described Hartstein as a popular figure among East End surfers who was known for walking around town with his dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback named Naya. He and his wife had three young children, all under the age of six.

“He was a very cared-for member of the community,” Godin said. “Everybody knew him as Dr. Dave with the Rhodesian ridgeback.”

The family is staying with friends in the area while their house is cleaned and tested for more hantavirus particles, Godin said.

Source: Metropolis.com

George Williams
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA

More Rodents Found With Hantavirus

28 Mar 2011

Posted by John D. Stellberger

More Rodents Carrying Hantavirus Found

More Rodents Carrying Hantavirus Found

Six more rodents trapped by County Vector Control technicians last week have tested positive for the sometimes-deadly hantavirus, County officials said this week.

The rodents, four Harvest mice and two California Meadow Voles, were trapped in Fairbanks Ranch and northern Escondido near the San Luis Rey River bringing this year’s total to 16 rodents testing positive for hantavirus, a news release stated. In 2010, a total of 21 rodents tested positive for hantavirus.

Recent rains have created an abundance of food for rodents, which can increase the rodent population,” said County Environmental Health Director Jack Miller. “More rodents can lead to more hantavirus.” People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings and nesting materials. Instead, ventilate closed areas and use wet cleaning methods with a 10 percent bleach solution or other full strength disinfectant. The best way to prevent the disease is to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds by sealing all holes larger than the size of a dime, the news release stated.

Wild rodents, primarily deer mice, carry hantavirus. People can contract it by inhaling dust particles from rodent droppings and nesting materials that contain the virus. The virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which begins with flu-like symptoms, but can graduate to severe breathing difficulties and even death, according to the news release. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for hantavirus and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that HPS has killed 36 percent of all the people known to have contracted the disease.

How to Avoid Exposure:

  • Eliminate rodent infestations immediately.
  • Avoid rodent infested areas. Do not stir up dust or materials that may be contaminated with feces and urine.
  • Clean up rodent droppings and urine using the wet cleaning method described below.

Use “wet-cleaning” methods to prevent inhaling the virus:

  • DO NOT SWEEP OR VACUUM INFESTED AREAS.
  • Ventilate affected area by opening doors and windows for at least 30 minutes.
  • Use rubber gloves. Spray a 10 percent bleach solution (2 tablespoons bleach to 1 cup of water), or other full strength disinfectant onto dead rodents, rodent droppings, nests, contaminated traps, and surrounding areas and let the disinfectant stand for at least 15 minutes before cleaning. Clean with a sponge or a mop.
  • Place disinfected rodents and debris into two plastic bags, seal them and discard in the trash.
  • Wash gloves in a bleach solution, then soap and water, and dispose of them using the same double-bag method. Thoroughly wash your bare hands with soap and water.

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA


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