June 23, 2009

Arizona reports hantavirus death

A Minnesota woman who died from hantavirus may have contracted the rodent-linked disease during a trip through the Grand Canyon, authorities said.

The woman, whose name and hometown were not released, died June 12 at a hospital outside Arizona, said Trish Lees, a spokeswoman for the Coconino County, Ariz., Health Department.

The woman, in her early 50s, may have contracted the disease during a family boating trip on the Colorado River in mid- to late-May, Lees told the Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff, in a story published Tuesday.

It was the first hantavirus case linked to Arizona this year. One case was reported last year in the state, Lees said.

Hantavirus is contracted by inhaling particles from mouse droppings and urine. The woman told health officials she wasn't aware of any recent contact with mice.