DENVER (AP) — State health officials say one person has died of hantavirus in Colorado this year and a second has been sickened by it.

The Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday the death was in Saguache County and the other case was in Weld County. Both victims were women in their 20s. Both contracted the disease in late March.

Hantavirus is a respiratory disease carried by deer mice. Humans can contract it if they inhale dust contaminated by the virus. Health officials say that sometimes happens when people clean outbuildings and cabins in the spring.

Elisabeth Lawaczeck of the health department says there is no vaccine.

The health department says Colorado averages about four cases of hantavirus a year. In 2010, there were five cases, including three deaths.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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