Public health authorities are investigating what could be the third hantavirus case in Washington. News on the matter was released earlier this week as the authorities are currently in the middle of the investigation.
These are being carried out by King County Public Health specialists, as the newest case was reported in Issaquah, Washington. If confirmed, this will be the third such case reported over less than 2 years. The previous two were registered in February 2017 and November 2016.
As with the April case, the February 2017 patient also came from Issaquah. This also lived near Squak Mountain, however, in a different neighborhood. As it is, authorities are still waiting for the latest test results.
Nonetheless, health officials are already investigating a number of factors. They are looking to determine the location in which the patient may have gotten exposed to the hantavirus. Also, they are looking to establish how she may have done so. This potential third case involved a woman in her 50s which was hospitalized on April 04th.
If Confirmed, This Third Hantavirus Case May Led To A Further Inquiry
In Washington state, deer mice are the only rodents which could have spread the hantavirus. This species is known to live in deserts and woodland areas. According to the health agency, the number of deer mice living in the Issaquah area seems to have increased. As it is, officials do not believe that the two 2017 cases are related.
“If this third case of HPS is confirmed, it suggests that certain areas of the county are at increased risk compared to past years.”
This is according to Dr. Jeff Duchin, a Health Officer for Public Health Seattle & King County. If the case is confirmed, local authorities will consult the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. They will do so in order to offer information on the local ecology of deer mice.
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