New Mexico health officials confirm this year's first Hantavirus - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New Mexico health officials confirm this year's first Hantavirus death

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Santa Fe, NM -New Mexico health officials are now confirming a 67 year old woman has become the first person to die from the Hantavirus this year.

Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in the virus, but it can not spread from person to person.

In most cases, people contract it while they are cleaning out sheds, barns, or around the house where rodents may have lived so health officials urge caution when cleaning these places and to avoid contact with mice and other rodents.

The State Department of Health said that the woman's home is being investigated to help reduce the risk of infection for others. The first case of this virus was confirmed in Amarillo late last month. Early signs of the virus are similar to the flu, but can result in a serious case of pneumonia if not properly treated.