Risky Trips: Camping and cabin getaways. The CDC reports that New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California have the most cases, and last summer 10 people visiting Yosemite National Park were infected with this rodent-bred infection, causing three deaths. (Turns out mouse poop can be as deadly as running into a bear.)
Vital Signs: Generally, flu-like symptoms begin one to seven weeks after exposure—the virus spreads though rodent urine and droppings—but the fever and muscle aches then develop into respiratory problems. So while it may make sense to dispose of any mouse mess you notice in your cabin right away, beware, as using a broom will spread the virus everywhere, including into your lungs. “You can’t clean it up like dog poop,” says Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., board certified infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburg. “Leave it and find proper supplies such as a mask, gloves and Clorox.” Although there is no specific treatment or vaccine, linking rodent exposure to your symptoms and seeking medical care right way are your best bet for recovery.
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