Risks of a hantavirus infection

Find out what the risks of getting infected with a hantavirus are and who is most at risk.

What are the risks of getting infected with a hantavirus?

The risk of getting infected with a hantavirus in Canada or in other parts of the world is low.

However, anyone who comes into contact with rodents carrying a hantavirus is at risk. Even healthy people can get infected and become seriously ill.

Since 1989, there have been 109 confirmed cases and 27 deaths in Canada due to a hantavirus infection. This is accurate as of January 2015.

Rodent infestation in and around the home is still the main risk for exposure to a hantavirus. But infestations and possible exposures can happen wherever rodents are present. This includes:

  • cottages
  • trailers
  • garden sheds

There are no vaccines available to prevent a hantavirus infection.

Canada works closely with its national and international partners. Together, they track diseases caused by hantaviruses in Canada and the U.S. We will continue to assess the risks of hantaviruses and associated diseases in North America on an ongoing basis.

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