- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s Health Department is reminding people to protect themselves against hantavirus disease while doing spring cleaning.

The viral infection causes severe lung disease and can be fatal. It’s spread by infected rodents in their urine, droppings and saliva. The deer mouse is the primary carrier.

Epidemiologist Michelle Feist (fyst) says people should be careful when cleaning cabins, sheds and other buildings that have been closed up for a while and might have housed rodents. Tips include ventilating the area, wearing gloves and using disinfectant.

Fourteen hantavirus cases have been reported to the state Health Department since 1993, when the virus was first recognized in the U.S. Seven of those cases were fatal.

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