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Press Release 06-105

Increased Risk of Hantavirus Forecast for U.S. Southwest

Satellite images of ecological conditions help predictions

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Contact with rodents and their waste puts humans at risk for exposure to hantavirus.

Contact with rodents and their waste puts humans at risk for exposure to hantavirus.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) helps spread hantavirus to humans.

The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal's age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas.

Credit: National Park Service photo by John Good


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