MCKINLEY COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The hantavirus has claimed the first life of a New Mexican this year. The Department of Health says a 42-year-old woman from McKinley County has died.

It comes just a month after a 50-year-old woman was hospitalized for hantavirus. The disease is transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva.

Important steps to prevent contracting hantavirus include:

  • Air out closed-up buildings, storage rooms, trailers, cabins and overwintered vehicles before entering.
  • Trap mice until they are all gone.
  • Soak down rodent nests and droppings using a disinfectant before cleaning up.
  • Don’t sweep rodent droppings into the air where they can be inhaled.
  • Put hay, wood, and compost piles as far as possible from your home.
  • Get rid of trash and junk piles to reduce attracting rodents.
  • Don’t leave your pet’s food and water where mice can get to it.

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