Third NM Hantavirus Death

New Mexico – The New Mexico Health Department reports a third person has died from hantavirus in New Mexico.

State officials said Monday the victim was a 23-year-old man from McKinley County. His name was not released by the department.

There have been three other hantavirus pulmonary syndrome cases this year in New Mexico. One person recovered. Two people died a 51-year-old woman from McKinley County and a 35-year-old man from Torrance County.

Health officials say hantavirus can be contracted by breathing particles of rodent droppings, urine or saliva. Early symptoms include fever and muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and coughing. It can take between one and six weeks after exposure for symptoms to develop.

New Mexico had two nonfatal cases of hantavirus in 2010, both from McKinley County.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.