By Tri-City Herald

EPHRATA — The first hantavirus case of the year in Washington state has been reported in a young adult in Grant County.

The person became sick in late April with flu-like symptoms and then was hospitalized with respiratory failure.

The patient survived and is continuing to improve at home, according to the Grant County Health District.

In 2017, a young Franklin County mother died at Trios Health after coming in contact with the virus. In Grant County, two people died from the illness in 2012.

Deer mice carry the virus that can cause hantavrius pulmonary syndrome in people.

People can be infected by breathing in dust from dried urine, saliva and droppings from infected mice or by touching contaminated items, such as droppings or nesting material.

People are most at risk when they enter outbuildings, cabins, RVs and vehicles that have been infested with mice and have poor air circulation.