As of October 14, nine cases of Hantavirus have been confirmed in the Tarija department in recent months, with the majority of cases recorded in the municipality of Bermejo. Another 19 suspected cases have also been detected Tarija.
Hantavirus is spread via the urine, saliva, and feces of infected rodents and is contracted via ingestion, contact with contaminated surfaces, or inhalation of contaminated air. The most common symptoms of the virus are similar to those of influenza: fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. Other possible symptoms include headache, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Hantavirus is fatal in roughly one-third of cases.
Those present in Tarija and surrounding areas should avoid exposure to potentially rodent-infested areas (e.g. barns, camp sites, construction sites, garbage dumps); drink only bottled water; make sure any outdoor garbage cans are properly covered and the area kept clean; regularly air out any structures that may have rodent infestations (barns, garages, etc.); and properly store foodstuffs. Individuals exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical treatment.