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Bozeman Woman Dies of Hantavirus

Photo courtesy of Tatiana Gettelman/Flickr

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — State health officials say a 20-year-old Bozeman woman recently died of hantavirus while a Carbon County man in his 40s has been diagnosed with the disease.

Park County Coroner Al Jenkins tells the Livingston Enterprise that Rhea Lynn Baxter of Bozeman died May 11 of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome at Billings Clinic. Jenkins says it’s not clear where Baxter was exposed to the virus.

Hantavirus can be contracted by breathing air containing the virus, which is present in the urine, droppings and saliva of infected rodents.

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches while the late symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath as the lungs fill with fluid.

Baxter is the 10th Montanan to die of hantavirus since 1993.

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