Hantavirus: Clearing Up After a Rodent Infestation

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Hantavirus has been around for a long, long time, it is endemic in South-east Asia but was first discovered in the first World in 1993, in New Mexico.

A dozen healthy individuals of the Navajo Nation, in the Four Corners area, developed respiratory problems and died. Their deaths were attributed to adult respiratory distress syndrome, (ARDS). Investigations began immediately into what could have caused a dozen people, with no underlying problems, to keel over and die.

The researchers found a previously unknown virus, Sin Nombre Virus (SNV) in the environment, and the twelve deceased were found to be carrying the virus. They found that Deer mice were vectors, carriers of this virus, further studies showed that all rodents can be carriers of SNV. Warm weather had allowed more than the usual amount of vegetation to grow, and the rodent population had exploded, New Mexico had experienced a 10 fold increase in rodents that year, by the start of 1994 there had been 55 cases resulting in 32 deaths. The term Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) was used to describe the disease. Three more strains of the virus were later discovered, New York 1 virus, Black Creek Canal virus and Bayou virus.

Hantavirus is a zoonotic disease, it crosses from animals to humans. It is carried by rodents, but Deer mice seem to be infected to a higher degree than many other mice and rats. The rodents themselves are asymptomatic, they show no signs of disease and are not sickened by carrying the virus. Hantavirus is considered not to be spread by person to person contact, but studies of an outbreak in Argentina in 1996, indicated it is possible, but the chances of it occurring are very,very slight.

The vast majority of people who contract Hantavirus do so in their own homes and gardens. The infection is caused by the victim inhaling particles of dried urine and faeces from infected animals. The clearing of nests, droppings and dead rodents are the usual cause of infection, the ingestion of contaminated food is the second most likely cause, and rodent bite, as it can be carried in the saliva of infected animals is third. The disturbance of infected nests, faeces etc aerosolizes the minute virus particles and as a result they are inhaled.

Symptoms will first appear 5-21 days after exposure. Fever, fatigue and muscle pain, particularly in the shoulders and thighs, followed by chills, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.

3-5 days after this the cardio-pulmonary phase begins. This is marked by shortness of breath as the lungs start to fill with fluid. If not treated at this point the disease will progress rapidly, usually within 24 hours the shortness of breath will turn into acute respiratory distress. Breathing will become increasingly difficult until it is impossible without ventilatory support. The heart rate will have dropped markedly and will continue to decrease in pace and force until the patient has negligible output and circulation ceases. This is a direct response to the lungs filling with fluid, the heart is reacting in the way it would with any other drowning.

Hantavirus is viral, antibiotics will not work, antiviral medication may be given IV but 50% of people die even with medical assistance that was sought early, the figure is much higher for those seeking late medical intervention. Speed is of the essence with Hantavirus, if you feel ill after cleaning out a shed, garage, holiday cabin, or the cupboard under the sink, and there was evidence of rodents…seek help immediately. Those who survive often have kidney problems and polyurea (excessive urination)

PREVENTION

First and foremost reduce contact with rodents, take all measures possible to keep them out of your home, tool shed garage, a holiday home, bug out retreat, woodpile and anywhere else you frequent.

Keep rubbish bins well sealed, and excess rubbish as far away from dwellings as is possible.

Keep low-lying vegetation to a minimum in these areas to discourage nesting

Build yourself a hanta kit containing, goggles, HEPA mask,(high-efficiency particulate air), thick rubber gloves, a second pair of gloves, latex or washing up type, rubber boots and disposable overalls with a hood, an old shirt and trousers that you can afford to lose and 2 plant sprays.

CLEARING UP

DO NOT sweep, shake rugs or vacuum in areas you suspect may have nests or droppings. Open all windows and doors and leave the place to air for at least an hour. Make up several buckets containing a minimum 10% bleach solution, put on your protective gear before going anywhere near the area. fill a plant spray from one of the buckets and spray the area you are cleaning from the top down.

Remove items from the shelves and wipe with a bleach cloth, set each item aside as you go.

Use a towel or cloth wet with the bleach water and wipe the shelf down, making sure you wipe the edges as well as the flat surfaces. Rinse your cloth often in the bleach water.

When you get to the floor, use a shovel to remove nests, soil, paper etc, all of which should be soaked in bleach water. Put into two thick rubbish bags. When solid matter is removed, carefully wash or mop the floor, disposing of the mop head and cloths into the waste bag as you finish with them.

Wash your gloved hands in bleach water, wash you boots in bleached water and lightly spray your overalls with bleached water from the plant spray, empty any liquid left in the spray and put the plant spray in the rubbish bag. Still wearing the goggles, mask and gloves, remove your boots and set aside. Take off the overalls and put into the bag,wash your gloved hands again in bleached water.

Using a fresh cloth, wet it in bleached water, wring out and wipe the front of the goggles and the mask, do this twice, rinsing the cloth in between.

Rinse your gloved hands in bleached water, shake to remove excess and remove goggles, dropping them into the bleach water bucket.

Take a deep breath and hold it, remove your mask before releasing your breath. Dispose of the mask into the bag. Tie bag up immediately.

Remove the top layer of your clothes and put them into a plastic bag, hold you breath whilst taking anything over your head.

Washed your gloved hands one last time but this time let the bleach solution go over the cuff of the gloves saturating the insides. remove these gloves underwater and dispose of them into the sack. Tie the sack immediately.

Take the unused plant spray, filled with bleached water and spray the outside of both plastic waste bags. Pull on a second pair of gloves, place both waste bags into a large thick plastic sack and tie up. Wash your gloved hands in the bleached water, removing the gloves whilst they are submerged. These gloves can go into a small bag and be disposed of in the household waste.

Go inside and wash, bath or shower, paying particular attention to your hair.

The waste bag should be buried deeply, or burned when the contents have dried out.

It is far, far easier to be vigilant with pest control, but if, for example, you are going to a cabin that has been unused for some time, or are cleaning out the furthest corners of the garage, you would be well advised not to cut corners if you find evidence of rodents.

If you are using a building that has not been used for a while even if it has no evidence of infestation or nests it would still be advisable to wipe all surfaces with bleached water before using them for food preparation.

Hantavirus is indiscriminate, and in situations that would see a proliferation of the rodent population, for example a breakdown of services which allows rubbish to build up, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome will likely become increasingly common.

Take care

Liz

11 thoughts on “Hantavirus: Clearing Up After a Rodent Infestation”

  1. Ms. Bennett, I am not a doctor but have a lot of knowledge and experience in healing. Although I hesitate to intrude with unsolicited advice (I hope you will forgive me), this post and the previous post lead me to want to recommend to you that you research Vitamin C. It is a universal anti-viral and a universal anti-toxin.

    For the hantavirus patient, taking large quantities of Vitamin C orally to bowel tolerance (and selenium up to 1200mcgs a day) will reduce viral replication rates and help the body respond to the virus and fight it off. Other options are lypospheric Vitamin C taken orally, as well as IV and intramuscular Vitamin C. I generally have used the sodium ascorbate version when dealing with something difficult that requires 20-30 grams orally a day. (The source of the C may matter, particularly with people like me who are allergic to corn, so look for non-corn sources.)

    For clostridium difficile, where the bacterium itself causes no direct damage but produces two toxins which do great damage, Vitamin C will directly bind to the toxins and should significantly diminish the symptoms caused by the toxins, giving the patient considerably more time to enable the probiotics to establish a better intestinal environment and suppress the bacterium. Whenever the symptoms arise, take more C.

    I suggest that you search online for Andrew Saul, PhD, Frederick Klenner MD (deceased), and Thomas Levy, MD, JD. There is a lot of information out there about Vitamin C that could be helpful and which you might find useful. I can attest with personal experience with a nasty toxin that it does indeed bind the toxin and reduce/eliminate the symptoms of the toxin, but it is imperative to use the extra time gained through the use of the C to act to suppress or eliminate the bacterium producing the toxin.

    I’m glad to see you are back in the blogging arena. I always enjoy reading your work. 🙂

    1. Hiya Steve,
      I can only speak about my knowledge as it stands and that is that the toxins, A and B (there is a C as well) are produced all the time but the natural flora of the gut counterbalances this. when the flora in the gut is disturbed,as in C Diff all hell breaks loose. Probiotics are proven to assist in rebalancing the natural flora of the gut.

      I do believe that Vitamin C is grossly underestimated but I have yet to find a study relating to the benefits of it in trating C.Diff.

      I agree with Vit C diminishing the replication rates but with Hantavirus causing major respiratory issues it is not something I personally would be willing to take a chance on and I stand by the cleaning procedure I stated in the article.

      Extra vitamin C is in almost all cases beneficial to the body as a whole but I am not convinced it is a treatment as such.

      Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to comment. I welcome different views and will never not publish a comment that disagrees with what I say so don’t hestitate to jump in whenever you feel like it.Please call me Liz, I look forward to chatting with you in the future.

      Liz

      1. Hi, Liz! Thanks for the reply. A couple things, if you don’t mind further input.

        (1) The people I recommended you check out do deal directly with the issues you’re talking about re C and toxins. If you expect to see double-blind stuff, forget it! You *have* to go outside the Standard American Medical model and especially to look at actual clinical experience by docs willing to try things. Indeed, there was successful use of C to help some Ebola patients in West Africa, but generally you have to dig in the alternative area to find that data.

        (2) These recommendations I’ve made don’t conflict with yours at all, not at all. So I would use your stuff *and* my stuff in a C.Diff situation or hantavirus infection. For example, the C when used against C Diff should considerably increase comfort because it will deactivate most of the toxins within a couple hours of frequent small doses, but it won’t solve the bacterial population issue. Normal treatment for C Diff doesn’t have any way to deal directly to deactivate the toxins, so why not use the C? The probiotics will solve the bacterial problem but does not directly add to the patient’s immediate comfort or add time for the probiotic treatment to gain efficacy. C cannot hurt and can only help.

        Oh, and it is mainly the selenium that slows viral replication, not the C. The C mainly kills virus, which reduces the rise in the viral load over time. The selenium actually biochemically slows replication of the virus population – it lengthens their ‘breeding’ time. To some degree susceptibility to viral illnesses indicates a selenium deficiency. Without selenium, your immune system doesn’t have as much time to see a viral invader before the virus runs exponentially amok, so it can’t mount a response as it should, so you’re more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus and to get sick more often.

        Selenium is an important part of a protocol I have for shutting down shingles outbreaks completely in 2-3 days – I’ve had shingles five times in the past 10-12 years. My protocol works so fast that my body’s immune system doesn’t have time to revaccinate itself! No anti-virals and definitely no toxic vaccine needed, and no fear.

        There are so many wonderful ways to heal outside the SAM model, but few look, sad to say. I see so many of my friends suffering from bad doctoring, it’s pretty depressing sometimes. 🙁

        If I ever have to deal with a rodent cleanup, I will do my best to follow your advice. I’ve saved it to my computer for reference. Thank you!

        1. Evening Steve,

          I am having a good old dig around regarding Vitamin C therapy and I must admit I add it to the homemade cream I use on my skin and I use it as a toner as well, used it too strong once…ouch, need to remember it is an acid lol.

          After years in the hospital environment I am well aware of iatrogenesis (doctor/medical professional induced harm) even if it’s not intentional…think Harold Shipman, it certainly happens. I would assume that SAM is remarkably similar to SBM (standard British Model) though we have taken some lead from healthcare professionals around the world such as some hospitals using a model in accident and emergency that is based on the South African shark attack algorithm which generally works beautifully with any major trauma case involving severe bloodloss…but I digress.

          I think we have a massive amount to learn about the actions of and the reactions to commonly occurring vitamins and minerals and that eventually treatments based on them will become mainstream.

          Having said that I think we have to be careful of overplaying ANY treatment for serious conditions such as cancer…which some have claimed vitamin C can cure. Vitamin C sadly has proven not to be the cure but was proved to generally have improved the patients nutritional health and made them stronger in the face of their illness and the current medical treatment offered for it.

          Science has proven that vitamin C has a level of regenerative power at cellular level, for example in the increase in collagen and improved skin elasticity after topical application of solutions between 10 and 20%.

          It seems logical to me that if vit C has been proven as revitalising to skin cells that it could have the same effect on other cells within the body, but as I still have professional qualifications I need to hang onto I have to be very careful to point out that I am only quoting from research I have seen and that all my views are personal and not a recommendation for any form of treatment.

          Just for your reference try this one…it’s so good.

          General moisturiser-good for face and body and great for psoriasis

          20mls (4 teaspoon) of 20% W/V L-ascorbic acid solution.[For those unfamiliar with W/V this stands for weight/volume. A 20% solution is 20g of powder, in this case L-ascorbic acid power, which is food grade vitamin C powder, in 100mls of water.Simple maths reduces this down to 5g(W) in 20mls(V)]

          The powder needs to dissolve in warm water, not hot, just lukewarm until it is no longer ‘gritty’ if you don’t dissolve it your cream will be gritty.Useable, but gritty.

          1/4 teaspoon of Matcha green tea powder (137 antioxidants in that)

          Two tablespoons of cold pressed virgin coconut oil

          One tablespoon of unrefined shea butter

          1. Mix the liquid vit C solution with the Matcha powder to make a dark green liquid.
          2. Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together in the microwave until soft. (if the fats get hot let them cool to lukewarm before continuing or you will ruin the bit C)
          3. Mix the green mixture into the fats, you can use an electric mixer if you need to but I use a small balloon whisk. The shea butter will double in size as you add air to give you cream a lighter feel.
          4. Put into an opaque container and store in a cool dark place, use within one week.

          let me know what you think.

          Take care

          Liz

          1. Sorry, I’ve been busy. I do get that you need to be careful.

            On your formula, I have three ideas. Take them if they work for you and ignore them if they don’t!

            First, as you say, ascorbic acid is, well, acidic. 🙂 It would seem that you could use an ascorbate just as easily. Although using calcium ascorbate orally can cause electrolyte imbalances, using it on the skin would add both Vit C and calcium. Or, since NaPCA is my go-to moisturizer, using sodium ascorbate might help add a little sodium to your skin and attract water. Or you could combine ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate and sodium ascorbate. Ascorbates are not acidic, so perhaps you could increase the % of Vit C in your formula.

            If sodium used directly dries the skin in your formula, use NaPCA directly. I use a mist by Larenim that is a relatively clean formula of NaPCA (most NaPCA formulas are “dirty” with constituents that cause skin irritation, if you can believe it). I use NaPCA during the winter if my hand skin starts cracking – works great all on its own. (I dislike anything greasy on my skin – grease is not a substitute for NaPCA.) NaPCA is the body’s own moisturizing molecule, so I suggest adding it to your formula, especially if the sodium ascorbate idea doesn’t work for you. Understandably, NaPCA is water-soluble, so you may have a bit of trouble including it in your oil-based mix. Larenim’s NaPCA mists are here:
            http://www.larenim.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=NaPCA+Mist+%285.3oz%29
            You might get some ideas from their formulas for use in your own.

            Finally, I never use a microwave. The energy of the microwave is too powerful and harsh. It can cause changes to the shape of molecules or even break/shake them apart. Use a gas stove to heat your mixture gently, or an electric stove if that’s what you have. And try to keep the temperature of your mix below 105ºF so that any enzymes will not be denatured. The delicate antioxidants will also appreciate it. 🙂

            I hope these ideas help!

          2. Hi Steve, good point on the microwave…something to take away there.

            The L-ascorbic is fine now I’ve got the W/V sorted, it’s working well now.I will check the links…always on the lookout for new ‘stuff’ I can learn from.

            Take it easy,

            Regards

            Liz

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