Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hanta Virus Kills Two in Utah

(Reuters) - Two people in Utah have died following exposure to hantavirus, a rare but deadly disease of the lungs spread by rodents, health officials said on Tuesday.

The fatalities, the first from the virus in the state since 2009, occurred over the last four weeks in central Utah's Millard County and in Salt Lake County, said Rebecca Wood, an official at the Utah Department of Health.

The two deceased were adults, state epidemiologist Jodee Baker said. The cases were not linked but each individual was exposed to rodents a few weeks before becoming ill, Baker said. Privacy laws prevent officials from releasing the names or genders of the deceased. Authorities did not release the exact date of each death either.

State epidemiologists are working closely with health officials in Millard and Salt Lake counties to gather more details and to make sure no one else has been exposed, Baker said.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome can be spread through contact with saliva of infected rodents Read More