Everybody I know that is serious about food storage has storage problems. We stick boxes, buckets and cans everywhere. Often these are put under houses and other areas that attract mice or rats. This leads to possible problems with Hantavirus.
I have known two people who died of Hantavirus. Both died in the hospital while under medical care. Both lived in the country, one in Northern California and one in Montana, both were preppers. Because Hantavirus takes from 1-5 weeks to develop after exposure, no one is sure when or where the exposure occurred.
Hantavirus results in a 50% percent mortality rate for people with it in their lungs even with aggressive modern medical care. Antibiotics do not work for Hantavirus and there really is no effective treatment.
One of the big problems with it is that the early symptoms are similar to those of the flu and include fever, chills and muscle aches. Later they will change to dry cough, hard to breathe, headache, and nausea and vomiting. Hantavirus cannot be spread by human-to-human contact.
There are only two things you can do to avoid it. One keep your immune system as strong as possible, two avoid exposure to it.
This is the second post I have written on this subject you may also want to review my previous one Avoiding Hantavirus. This post has information on the types of rodents that cause it.
In my own storage, I do several things to keep mice and rats away and avoid Hantavirus.
- Always clean up any spilt food.
- Any food stored in Mylar bags goes into five gallon sealed buckets
- Put out a poison around any food stored in outbuilding or under the house. I always put out d-Con and replace it if it disappears.
- Keep clutter to a minimum and don’t leave them a place to nest.
- If you suspect mouse droppings, wear a dust mask while cleaning up the area and disinfect the area with bleach or a good disinfectant.
- Do not use a vacuum or sweep to clean up mouse droppings or nests; you put dust in the air. Wet rags work well.
- Watch where your kids play and teach them about Hantavirus
In a real emergency without medical care your chances of surviving Hantavirus would be extremely low, so do what you can to avoid it.