First 2002 Hantavirs Case Reported in Colorado

DENVER -- A senior from Gunnison County has been diagnosed with hantavirus - an illness transmitted by inhaling dust from contaminated deer mouse feces.

The 64-year-old is the state of Colorado's first confirmed case of the virus this year. He is recovering in Grand Junction hospital.

Last year, some eight confirmed cases were reported in the United States - none of which were discovered in Colorado. Three victims died.

According to an epidemiologist from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the virus, which has flulike symptoms, causes death in 30 percent of victims.

Although once thought to be found only in the Four Corners region of the United States, infections have been reported in other areas of the country.

Information from