RENO, Nev. — Washoe County health district officials say a south Reno resident has contracted the county’s first case of hantavirus (HAN’-tuh-veye-russ) since 2006.

The potentially deadly hantavirus is transmitted by rodents. The flu-like symptoms typically appear one to eight weeks after exposure and prove fatal in about 38 percent of human cases.

Health officials say fewer than 800 hantavirus cases have been confirmed in the entire United States since it first was identified in the Four Corners area of the Southwest in 1993.

County District Health Officer Kevin Dick says the most likely source of the virus in south Reno was a deer mouse. He’s urging area residents to be cautious when cleaning, working or recreating in areas where mouse droppings and/or urine may have collected. He says a deer mouse can fit through an opening the size of a nickel.

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