Flagstaff-area woman dies from complications of hantavirus

June 07, 2013

A rare and dangerous illness has claimed the life of a Northern Arizonan. 

Coconino County health officials say a woman from the Flagstaff area has died from complications of hantavirus, which is spread by infected urine, droppings, and/or saliva of wild rodents. It can’t be spread by people.

The illness starts with fever, headache, and muscle aches, and quickly makes it extremely difficult to breathe.

The last reported case in Coconino County was in 2007. That person eventually recovered.

Health officials say there have now been 22 confirmed hantavirus cases in Arizona since 2006, and 11 of those victims died. They say it's still unclear how the Flagstaff woman contracted the rare disease.

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