With temperatures slowly on the rise and spring cleaning on some minds - health officials in Saskatchewan are warning people to take precautions.

Springtime is normally when the sometimes fatal hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) has been known to strike.

Dr. Denise Werker, deputy chief medical health officer with the ministry of health, said that Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of the disease 

"In fact in Saskatchewan were are disproportionally affected by this disease because of our rodent population, but also because of the activities that people do," she said. "We're rural based population and people are in the habitats where mice can be found."

The rare lung illness can be contracted by coming into close contact with subject matter (droppings, urine, or saliva) left behind by infected deer mice.

"When people disturb the feces or the urine there are aerosolization of particles and those particles can be breathed in or get in through your eyes or in through your mouth and cause an infection," Werker explained.

Since 1994 - 31 cases of the virus have been reported in Saskatchewan representing roughly 36 per cent of Canada's total confirmed cases during that time.

While there is no cure for the illness, Werker advises people who do experience symptoms such as a fever, muscle aches, cough, headaches, nausea, and vomiting within one to six weeks of cleaning an area where rodents have been to go to the hospital immediately.

"The treatment is really to support your capacity for your breathing and for your heart to keep functioning," she said. "What happens is the whole body can go into shock and your normal functions basically stop working."

The national average of fatalities due to the illness in the last 20 plus year range from 30-50 per cent, with Saskatchewan on the lower end around 30 per cent.

More Local News

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

Humane Society Receives Big Boost With $5000 Grant

The humane society has recently received a $5000 grant from the Western Financial western community foundation. Angela Prette with the humane society was extremely happy with the amount of the grant…

Bitter Winds Sticking Around

After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is…

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login