Woman, 27, Dies of Hantavirus Spread by Rodents

Woman, 27, Dies of Hantavirus Spread by Rodents


Hantavirus, a rare illness spread by rodents, has killed a 27-year-old woman three months after she began experiencing symptoms that put her in hospital, CBS News reported.

Kiley Lane of Aztec, New Mexico, was admitted into the University of New Mexico Hospital to undergo specialized treatment for the rare and serious rodent-borne illness.

She was hooked up to an “ECMO” machine, which is essentially designed to circulate blood through the body and temporarily replace heart and lung function.

At the time Lane’s mother, Julie Barron, told CBS affiliate KRQE she believed the device was going to save her daughter’s life.

A YouCaring page was set up to help the family cover medical costs, but earlier this week they announced that the treatment had been unsuccessful.

“Kiley courageously fought a battle to survive a deadly virus for weeks at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque,” the family posted to the page, adding that she “left this world and joined her Heavenly Father peacefully on April 18th surrounded by her loving husband, mother, sister, and family.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes hantavirus as a “severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease.”

Anyone coming into contact with rodents carrying the virus is at risk of contracting it and, while Barron said she has no idea how her daughter picked up the illness, the CDC noted that infestations in and around the home are the predominant risk factor for exposure.

A total of 728 hantavirus infections have been reported in the U.S. as of January 2017, 36 percent of which have ended in death, according to the CDC.

As a rare illness, research and funding is relatively limited, but Lane’s family hopes to help spread awareness.

“Continue the dialogue about this terrible virus which is feared to be more prevalent than fully understood,” the YouCaring page reads. “If one person is tested early and avoids the pain and agony Kiley endured, it is a life positively impacted.”

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