Deer-mouse virus

Jason Christian jason at primal.ucdavis.edu
Mon Aug 9 18:15:27 EST 1993


I guess I'm probably the first economist to post on this newsgroup this
month...I was pointed here by someone on sci.bio.  


Does anyone know of an ongoing electronic discussion (usenet or other)
on the Hanta (or, in Australia at least, Hantan) virus, which is
infecting deer-mouse populations (peromyscus maniculatus) in the Western
U.S., and is blamed for a number of human deaths in New Mexico, and at
least two in California?  If I should take my questions elsewhere,
please tell me; in any case, answers or information are most welcome.

I am part owner of a resort at 6,500 feet in Sierra County, California.
We are, as usual, overrun by deer mice, and to protect our staff and
customers I would like to know as much as I can.

The County Health Department is recommending benign neglect (don't put
your sleeping bag on the mouse hole, and avoid inhaling fecal matter,
which sounds like good advice at any time; don't trap, either, because
of risk of exposure).  There is no information available about whether
the Sierra County mice are infected.  It has been reported in Butte
County, about 50 miles north, and in Inyo? County, in the Mammoth Lakes
area, about 150 miles south.  

I know that the disease is treatable with early diagnosis, and that the
symptoms are ``flu:'' fever and muscle-aches.  In the ``good old days''
we would take these as symptoms of a better-known disease that is
endemic in the local rodent population: bubonic plague!  Also like the
plague, the disease is often fatal if untreated.

I would certainly like to know if there were efforts underway to find
out how widespread the virus is in the deer-mouse population; our resort
would certainly cooperate with such a project in our area.

I would be happy to summarize e-mail replies for the newsgroup (which at
least will give indications of what I've understood!).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jason Christian                             Agricultural Economics
jason at primal.ucdavis.edu                    University of California, Davis 
Office:(916)752-1357    FAX:(916)752-5614   Davis, CA 95616


-- 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jason Christian                             Agricultural Economics
jason at primal.ucdavis.edu                    University of California, Davis 
Office:(916)752-1357    FAX:(916)752-5614   Davis, CA 95616



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