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Feb 14, 2015

14:21:11 GMT--Biological Hazard - North-America - USA



EDIS Number: BH-20150214-46996-USA

Date / time: 14/02/2015 14:19:50 [UTC]

Event: Biological Hazard

Area: North-America

Country: USA

State/County: State of California

Location: Buena Vista

Number of Deads: 1 person(s)

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A



Description:



Hantavirus caused the death of 53-year-old Buena Vista resident Chris Banning, Chaffee County health officials confirmed Friday. "Chris Banning's official cause of death was hantavirus pulmonary syndrome," Chaffee County Coroner Randy Amettis said. Banning died Jan. 11 at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida. "It was a very sad situation because he was an extremely healthy person," Chaffee County Public Health director Susan Ellis said. "Your heart just breaks for these types of things. They happen so quickly." Hantavirus is contracted from exposure to feces, urine or saliva from infected rodents such as deer mice. The disease is rare, but has a high mortality rate, killing about 40 percent of those who contract the virus. Fifty cases of hantavirus were reported in Colorado between 2003 and 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. During that 10-year period, CDPHE reported only one case in Chaffee County. Chaffee County Public Health evaluated sites where Banning may have contracted hantavirus, but none were identified as the specific source of contamination. None of the sites were public locations, Ellis said. The coroner alerted Banning's family and others to their risk of exposure. They were advised to watch their symptoms for six weeks following potential exposure. It takes 1-5 weeks before those exposed to hantavirus show symptoms, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is not transmittable between humans, cats or dogs. "There was never any threat to the public with this at all," Ellis said. "No one else has gotten sick." Banning's symptoms and environmental circumstances surrounding his illness prompted authorities to submit medical samples to a forensic pathologist. Test results take several weeks to process, and were released to the coroner Feb. 13. Banning's obituary described him as a "loyal, devoted and gentle spirit." He was a Buena Vista High School graduate.




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