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SESSIONS ON HANTAVIRUS SLATED AFTER BOY'S DEATH.

Byline: Daily News

LANCASTER - In the wake of the death of an Antelope Valley teen from hantavirus, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will hold educational meetings about avoiding infection from the rodent-borne microorganism.

The meetings will be Thursday, 6-8 p.m. at Lancaster City Hall, 44933 Fern Ave., and 7-9 p.m. at the Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale.

Last week, county public health officials confirmed that a boy who died Aug. 6 had been infected with hantavirus, which in the Western United States is spread by deer mice.

Officials are investigating how the boy became infected, because he had been outside Los Angeles County before becoming ill.

A 52-year-old Los Angeles County man died in July from hantavirus after staying in a trailer park in Mono County, where hantavirus is known to exist.

Evidence of hantavirus in deer mice has been detected previously in some parts of the Antelope Valley, health officials said. The virus is not spread by the common house mouse, experts say.

People catch the disease by breathing the virus through activities such as dusting or sweeping areas contaminated by deer mouse droppings or urine.

There is no specific cure. The usual treatment is to put the patient on an artificial respirator while the body's immune system fights the virus.

For more information, contact public health nurse Martha Collins at (661) 723-4648.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 22, 2006
Words:231
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