According to the Mesa County Health Department, it sure can be. Taking precautions before cleaning can help you avoid it.

First of all, what is the Hantavirus?

It's a virus normally found in deer mice. Those affected release the virus in their urine, saliva, and droppings. People become infected when coming into contact with the mice or their nests or droppings.

In most cases when spring cleaning is being done, people tend to not pay attention to whether or not those things are present and, from any of those things becoming airborne, can get into a person's lungs and cause the viral infection.

You can take steps to make sure you do not get infected by doing the following:

  • Open doors and windows about an hour before starting to clean
  • Keep dust to a minimum by watering down the area with a solution that is 10 parts water to one part bleach.
  • Wear gloves and a mask.
  • Keep buildings free of rodents by patching any holes they may gain access through.
  • Store food, including pet food, in rodent-proof containers.
  • Properly dispose of trash in sealed containers.

Tularemia and plague can also be contracted by insects and ticks, drinking contaminated water and inhaling dust.

The key to remaining healthy this year is to take every precaution before you start your spring cleanup.

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