2nd hantavirus death this year reported in New Mexico

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal's age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)
This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal's age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico Department of Health officials have reported the second hantavirus death this year in the state.

They say a 53-year-old woman from McKinley County died while a 35-year-old woman in Lincoln County was hospitalized with hantavirus but has recovered.

State health officials say there have been five lab-confirmed cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year.

In 2016, there were eight cases in the state with five fatalities. Hantavirus is a severe respiratory disease in humans. It is passed to humans by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva and can be fatal.

People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus.

Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier of the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico.