Hantavirus is a group of viruses that are carried by rodents. One of them, Sin Nombre virus is found in deer mice and other rodents here in New Mexico. It is contracted primarily by inhaling airborne particles from rodent droppings, urine or saliva left by infected rodents or through direct contact with infected rodents. The deer mouse is the most common carrier of hantavirus, but other rodents can be possible carriers without showing any signs of illness.

The length of time hantaviruses can remain infectious in the environment is variable and depends on environmental conditions. The bottom line is that you can’t tell how old a dropping is, so all rodent droppings should be handled as if they are infectious.

ABC can provide you with a quote on cleaning up and decontaminating areas where there is a presence of rodent excrement (feces, urine, or saliva). These services are specialized and require the use of personal protective equipment such as tyvex suits, respirators, and sanitizers.

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If you are going to be doing your own clean-up, here are some basic guidelines for cleaning up rodent-infested areas-
Use cross ventilation when entering a previously unventilated enclosed room or dwelling prior to cleanup.
Put on rubber, latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves.
Do not stir up dust by vacuuming, sweeping, or any other means.
Thoroughly we contaminated areas with a bleach solution or household disinfectant such as Lysol.
Hypochlorite (bleach) solution: Mix 1 & 1/2 cups of household bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Spray your application on the affected area, and once its wet, take up the contaminated material with a damp towel and mop or sponge the area with a bleach solution or household disinfectant.
Spray dead carcasses with disinfectant and double bag it with all cleanup materials and throw the bag out in an appropriate waste disposal system.
Remove the gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, or waterless alcohol-based hand rubs when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled.

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