- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - State health officials say a 25-year-old man from McKinley County in western New Mexico has died of hantavirus.

The Health Department said Tuesday it marks the state’s fifth case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome this year.

An environmental investigation will be done at the patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. The patient’s name wasn’t released.

Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus.

Health officials say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the strain found in New Mexico.

Public health veterinarian Paul Etttestad says due to more precipitation, people are seeing a larger than usual number of mice and that’s leading to increased chances of being exposed.


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