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Subject: Hantavirus


From: Thomas A. Parker <bugman22>
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2002
Gretchen Voeks <gretchen_voeks [at] nps__gov> writes

>We are currently holding a number of collections that came into our
>labs contaminated with rodent droppings and urine.  These are
>collections from southwestern sites and are a potential hantavirus
>danger.  Instructions for cleaning buildings include liberal dousing
>with bleach or Lysol, or exposing the space to direct sunlight.
>Bleach and Lysol may damage the wooden, paper and textile components
>of the archeological objects. Sunlight may not penetrate deeply
>enough into the body of the wood.  Can anyone suggest other methods
>of killing this virus without harming the objects?  Is there a known
>life-span for hantavirus?  Can we simply store these objects in
>polyethylene bags for a year or two while waiting for the virus to

With respect to Hantavirus contamination, there is a publication put
out by the CDC, entitled

    Hantavirus Infection--Southwestern United States:  Interim
    Recommendations for Risk Reduction, which was adapted from the
    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Recommendations and
    Reports, July 30, 1993, Vol. 42, Number RR-11, Pages i-13

which is a good summary of this topic.  You may be able to find it
at <URL:> or call 404-639-3311 ext: 1719 for a

The virus is shed in saliva, urine and feces of infected rodents.
Human infection may occur when infective saliva or excreta is
inhaled by humans. In other publications, it has been stated that
the active virus lives only a week or so after being excreted.  Hope
this information has been helpful.

Thomas A. Parker, PhD
President, Entomologist
Pest Control Services, Inc.
14 East Stratford Avenue
Lansdowne PA 19050

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:72
                  Distributed: Tuesday, April 23, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-72-001
Received on Saturday, 20 April, 2002

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