Hantaviruses can be spread to people through aerosolized virus that rodents shed in their urine, feces and saliva.
The woman was likely infected while cleaning a residential dwelling that had been unoccupied for about two years, according to Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, a spokeswoman for the Washtenaw County health department.
“We believe the individual was exposed when cleaning out the dwelling,” she said. “Fecal matter … from the infestation likely became airborne during cleaning and was inhaled by the individual.”
The woman was hospitalized and treated for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, the disease caused by the virus, but she is recovering and no longer in the hospital, Ringler-Cerniglia.
Officials say infection is rare, but still urge others to contact their local health department if they need to report a case.
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