The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare, yet deadly disease that is contracted through contact with rodent excrement and saliva, generally when it is breathed in from contaminated air. When mice or rat droppings, urine, or nesting material is stirred up, small particles become suspended in the air and dust (called aerosolization).
Typical symptoms of HPS are fever and deep muscle aches, and can include
headache, dizziness, nausea, and stomach problems. As the disease progresses,
symptoms may include breathing difficulty and shortness of breath due to the lungs
filling with fluid. Although no vaccine or cure exists for this disease, early medical
attention and intensive care will increase the chances for survival.
View the New Mexico Department of Health's Hantavirus Brochure