Lake Tahoe man dies after contracting hantavirus, likely from rodents

A Placer County man who died recently tested positive for hantavirus, a potentially deadly airborne virus found in rodent droppings, health officials announced Wednesday.

The  man lived in the Lake Tahoe area, and most likely caught it from rodents. People can become infected with hantavirus by breathing air or dust contaminated with the virus.

"The particular exposure source for this individual who passed away has been cleaned and taken care of,” Placer County Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham told Sacramento station KCRA. “So, there is no ongoing or elevated risk to the public in the Lake Tahoe area."

Symptoms of hantavirus include fatigue, muscle aches, and trouble breathing. Signs of it are usually seen two to four weeks after a patient has been exposed.

The illness has a 38 percent mortality rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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