If you are hiking or camping, especially in areas where hantavirus has been reported, the following recommendations may help you avoid contact with infected rodents:
- Avoid disturbing rodent burrows or rodent dens.
- Do not handle or pet any rodents that you see, even if they appear tame.
- Do not use cabins or other enclosed shelters that are rodent-infested until they have been aired out, cleaned, and disinfected.
- Do not pitch tents or place sleeping bags in areas near rodent droppings, rodent burrows, or possible rodent shelters, such as woodpiles.
- If possible, do not sleep on the bare ground. Use a cot with the sleeping surface at least 12 in. (30.5 cm) above the ground or use tents with floors.
- Keep food in rodent-proof containers.
- Promptly throw away all garbage and trash in covered trash cans. If trash cans are not available, store garbage in a rodent-proof container until you get to a place where you can throw it away safely.
- Use only bottled water or water that has been disinfected by filtering, boiling, chlorination, or iodination for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, and brushing your teeth.