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SWISHERCOUNTY -- The Texas Department ofState HealthServices is offering tips on staying safe from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) after a Panhandle resident developed symptoms.

This is the first case ofHPS in Texas this year, officials say. The person who was infected lived in Swisher County and has fully recovered.

Health officials say the person most likely caught HPS when dust was stirred up in a rodent-infested barn. Hantavirus is rare and comes from rats and mice. It's usually caught during 'spring cleaning' when it's breathed in by humans.

DSHS released the following tips for staying safe from HPS:

  • Seal openings so mice and rats can't enter building.
  • Remove trash, woodpiles and other things that will attract rodents.
  • Close pet food containers and trash cans tightly.
  • Wear gloves when handling dead rodents, their droppings or their nesting areas.
  • Open windows and ventilate for at least 30 minutes before cleaning nests.
  • Don't sweep up nests or vacuum.
  • Use disinfectant when cleaning.

Symptoms include muscle aches, fever and fatigue, along with vomiting, headaches and dizziness.

Fourteen of 39 cases confirmed in Texas since 1993 have been fatal.

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