Hantavirus can be stirred up in dust and breathed in by people. Sweeping up mouse droppings or wiping out areas where rodents have been present can stir the virus into the air where it can be inhaled.
Use the following steps to clean any areas you suspect have been contaminated:
- Use latex, rubber or vinyl gloves and thoroughly wet the areas with a bleach solution or household disinfectant. Spray the urine and droppings with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water and let soak 5 minutes. The recommended concentration of bleach solution is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
- Once wet, contaminated materials can be taken up with damp towel and then mopped or sponged with bleach solution or household disinfectant. Contaminated gloves should be disinfected before taking them off.
- After taking off the clean gloves, wash hands with soap and warm water.
The best way to prevent the risk of Hantavirus infection is to control the presence of rodents in and around the home. JCPH also advises that residents rodent proof their homes by plugging holes and entry points where mice can get inside; eliminating food sources for rodents; and removing abandoned vehicles and wood, brush and junk piles where rodents hide.