Health briefs: VNA reminds residents to protect themselves from Hantavirus | SteamboatToday.com

Health briefs: VNA reminds residents to protect themselves from Hantavirus

VNA reminds residents to protect themselves from Hantavirus

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association advises precautions when cleaning — or just being in — areas inhabited by rodents.

Hantavirus is a serious, potentially fatal respiratory disease carried primarily by deer mice, which can be abundant in rural areas. Cases and deaths from the virus have increased in Colorado over the past several years; most cases occur in the spring and summer.

People can be infected by breathing in dirt and dust contaminated with deer mouse urine and feces. The illness can begin one to six weeks after exposure. Early symptoms are fatigue, fever and muscle aches and may also include pain in the legs and back, headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems.

If a person experiences these symptoms and has potentially been exposed to rodents, they should seek medical attention immediately. Hantavirus can be prevented by avoiding areas infested by rodents and following safety recommendations when cleaning up possible rodent food sources and nesting sites around the home, work areas or campsite.

For information about safely cleaning rodent areas, go to cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/.

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• A bereavement support group meets from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday at Rollingstone Respite House. The group is open to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 970-871-7629 prior to attending your first meeting.

• A domestic violence support group for women is from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at Advocates Building Peaceful Communities. Call Diane at 970-879-2034 before attending.

• The Steamboat Meditation Recovery Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, 2250 Copper Frontage Road, No. 202. The group also has a recovery-based yoga beforehand at 4:30 p.m. The group will explore recovery through meditation, book study and all open discussion. Meetings are open to all faiths and addictions. For more information, call 720-670-8642.

• A Caregiver Cancer Support Group is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the community room at Natural Grocers, 355 Lincoln Ave. For more information, call 970-846-4717.