Message #212:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Hantavirus Update
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 08:10:03 -0700 (MST)
Mime-Version: 1.0

From:  Michael 'Smoke' Pfeiffer 

United States Department of Agriculture

MARCH 1996    No. 3
Editors:  Forest Safety Committee - Siskiyou National Forest  
Assistant:  Dena Nickell:R06F11A  - Gold Beach Ranger District
IN THIS ISSUE: New virus, similar to hantavirus causes death of Gold Beach man -
Hantavirus symptoms - protect yourself!                       
*            "No job is more important that you can't do it safely!"          *
*            "Ask for instructions!"                                          *
*            "Don't bet your life on it!"                                     *
*            "Speak out when you see something unsafe!"                       *
A new virus similar to the hantavirus has taken the life of a Gold Beach man.
The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia says this new virus is within
a group, which, like the hantavirus leads to the condition known as respiratory
distress syndrome. The deceased, Charlie Davis, evidently contracted the virus
when he was cleaning out a camp trailer that had been unoccupied for several
month's. The Center for Disease Control has no name for this strain of virus and
has advised that this incidence is extremely rare. This new virus which causes
complete lung destruction was likely contracted in "aeosolized" form when Mr.
Davis disturbed rodent droppings. This virus begins with flu-like symptoms, but
then turns to pneumonia. A high fever is experienced and the lungs fill with
fluid. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta has kept blood and tissue
samples for comparison to other cases as they occur.


    Know hantavirus symptoms.  Initial, flu-like symptoms: fever, nausea,
    headache, muscle aches, cough.  These symptoms may last a few hours to
    several days.  Advanced symptom: acute respiratory trouble.  Contact medical
    help immediately and remember it progresses rapidly and EARLY TREATMENT IS

Procedures for Working in Contaminated Areas and Opening Seasonal Facilities
that have been contaminated over winter. 

    a)   Before entering into closed areas, open any doors and windows that can
         be opened from the outside to ventilate for at least 30 minutes.  Use
         fans, when available, being careful to not be in the "downwind"
         direction of the resulting air flow.
    b)   Wear a properly fitted half face HEPA respirator (or equivalent),
         coveralls (disposable if possible), rubber boots or disposable shoe
         covers, rubber or plastic gloves, and goggles when entering
         contaminated area.  Respirator use is to be in accordance with an
         approved respirator program prepared in compliance with OSHA
    c)   Liberally spray or pour cleaning solutions before sweeping or mopping.
         Bleach (diluted as one part bleach to 10 parts water), alcohol or Lysol
         (or other diphenols) diluted as recommended on the bottle, should be
    d)   Before moving nests and associated debris, spray with an insecticide
         (like Sevin or pyrethrin) to kill fleas that carry other diseases.  If
         feasible, wait 24 hours.  Then spray with bleach/water mist or Lysol
         solution to kill the virus.
    e)   Rugs and upholstered furniture contaminated by rodents should be steam
         cleaned or shampooed.  If rodent nests inside furniture can not be
         decontaminated, remove the furniture and burn it.
    f)   Contaminated bedding should be laundered in accordance with the
         recommendations for contaminated clothing below.

         Personal hygiene.
    a)   Treat personal protective equipment as contaminated material.  Wear
         gloves while removing other PPE, taking gloves off last.
    b)   After removing other PPE, wash gloved hands in a general household
         disinfectant, remove gloves, and then wash hands thoroughly with soap
         and water.
    c)   Used disposable PPE's should be wrapped in a plastic bag before they
         are thrown in with general garbage.
    d)   Clothes that have been in contact with rodent saliva, urine, and feces
         should be laundered with hot water and detergent promptly.  Machine-dry
         on a high setting or line dry in sunlight.
    e)   Clean non disposable PPE's with a bleach or Lysol solution and then
         wash them a second time with soap and water.  
    f)   Disinfect any tools or utensils that come in contact with rodent
A brief history of the hantavirus disease:  The hantavirus in the U.S. leads to
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), an often fatal infection of the lungs.  The
hantavirus is actually a member of a family of viruses long known in Asia and
Europe.  It first became a recognized health concern when one strain caused
Hemorrhagic Fever in soldiers who served in the Hantaan area of Korea in the
1950's.  The disease was first diagnosed in the U.S. in May of 1993, when a
number of deaths attributed to HPS occured in the four-corners region of the 
Southwest. Since then, the virus has also been identified in other states 
across the country.

               =*=*=*=*=*=*BE WELL **** BE SAFE!!!*=*=*=*=*=*=