Oregon Woman Dies from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Lindy Farr, of Redmond, died Wednesday, the Deschutes County Health Department officials confirmed.

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 3:49 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 4:03 PM

REDMOND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon woman has died from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a disease transmitted through rodent droppings, health officials said.

Lindy Farr, of Redmond, died Wednesday, the Deschutes County Health Department officials confirmed.

The 67-year-old Farr was admitted June 7 to the ICU at St. Charles Redmond after she was experiencing trouble staying awake. She was placed on a ventilator Saturday, then airlifted to Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland on Sunday, where she died, The Bend Bulletin reported .

"She was in good health," said Farr's neighbor and friend, Sheila Hart. "You would have never in a million years thought she would have been gone in a week."

About 35 percent of those infected will die from the disease, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hantavirus exposure usually occurs after breathing in the virus when rodent urine and droppings are stirred up into the air, according to health officials. People also can become infected when they touch mouse or rat urine, droppings, or nesting materials that contain the virus, and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. The disease is not spread from person to person.

"A lot of times it will happen after an area has been closed up for a while, a summer home or a barn, something like that," Heather Kaisner said, a spokeswoman for the health department. "They go in and they do spring cleaning, and there are mice droppings everywhere."

Farr and her husband lived in Redmond but also maintained a home in the Three Rivers community in Culver. Farr had come to the Culver home before Memorial Day to prepare for a family visit, Hunt said.

The case is the 23rd hantavirus infection in Oregon since 1993, and the seventh in Deschutes County. Officials from the Deschutes and Jefferson County health departments are working with Oregon Public Health officials to investigate the case.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

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