SEATTLE -- An Issaquah woman has been hospitalized after she may have contracted the potentially deadly hantavirus. An investigation is underway to determine how and where she may have been in contact with deer mice that carry the virus.
Test results are expected Thursday to confirm whether the woman, in her 50s, does have the virus which is commonly spread by deer mice.
Seattle-King County Public health says the woman lives near Squak Mountain. A man in his 30s living in that same area contracted the virus in February and later died.
Health officials do not believe the two cases are connected but say there are reports of more deer mice in the area.
Another woman who was exposed to deer mice near her home in Redmond last November was exposed to the virus but survived.
Deer mice do not live in urban settings in Washington but prefer woodland areas such as the suburban foothills, health officials say.
“People who live near wooded areas where deer mice are common should take steps to keep rodents out of the home and other structures, and take precautions when cleaning up rodent nests and potentially contaminated spaces," said Seattle-King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin in a statement. Anyone who has had exposure to rodent nests or areas where rodents are living and who develops symptoms should see a health care provider promptly.”