Man stricken by lethal, mouse-borne virus

May 20, 2011

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Maine health officials say the first case of a potentially fatal respiratory condition spread by the common house mouse has been diagnosed in the state. Officials say the case reported last month in Somerset County was in a man in his 70s. He is recovering. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome comes on quickly, and there is no effective vaccine or cure, officials say. It has a fatality rate of 30 percent to 40 percent. But the state epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Sears, said people need to clean up areas that invite mice and other rodents. The most common form of transmission is airborne particles, so Sears said people should wet down areas they are cleaning. (AP)

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