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The State Department of Health Services Vector-Borne Disease Section, actively conducts hantavirus surveillance throughout the unincorporated territory of Riverside County. Hantavirus has been detected in deer mice throughout the county and only one human cases has been reported in Riverside County thus far.

Rodents and their fleas are capable of transmitting a variety of human diseases such as bubonic plague, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, arenavirus, and hantavirus.  Bubonic plague is the most serious of these maladies and while there have not been any recent outbreaks of plague in Riverside County, the potential of such an outbreak could increase if rat populations are allowed to rise.  For more information on how to prevent rodent infestations, click on our Rodent links or call our Vector Program to speak with one of our Vector Technicians.

What is Hantavirus and which animals carry it?

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare, but frequently fatal, illness caused by a virus shed by deer mice (Peromyscus-maniculatus).
  • The only rodent in California that is known to transmit the virus is the deer mouse (Peromyscus-maniculatus). It is 4 to 7 inches long from head to tail, grey to brown in color with white fur on the belly and underside of tail, and has large ears.
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