Hantavirus suspected in death of 29-year-old Park County, Colorado man

1:52 PM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Hantavirus is suspected in the death of a 29-year-old Colorado man.

The Park County Sheriff's Office said one of its own, deputy Joe Hamilton, went home Saturday night because he was not feeling well.

Early Monday morning, they learned Hamilton, who seemed to be in good health, had passed away.

"Based on his symptoms medical authorities suspect Deputy Hamilton may have been exposed to Hantavirus at his recently purchased home where he may have come into contact with rodent droppings," Park County undersheriff Monte Gore said in a press release.

9NEWS medical expert Dr. John Torres says the virus is caused by exposure to rodent droppings or urine, which can be found in old homes or cabins.

"Anytime you're cleaning out an old area, especially where there's a lot of dust - protect yourself," Torres said. "That means wear a mask to filter that out, wear rubber gloves [and] moisten everything down, so that dust doesn't get in the air."

An autopsy will be performed to determine the official cause of death.

Hamilton had two young children.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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