By Matt Kroschel

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A rare virus nearly ended the life of a Grand County man who says his wife “nagging” him to go to the doctor is what likely saved his life.

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(credit: CBS)

Max Tischler has been out of the hospital for two weeks and still is having a hard time finding enough energy. His recovery from contracting the deadly Hantavirus disease continues.

Hantavirus is carried by deer mice, which can be found statewide.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment says there have only been 110 cases of Hantavirus in the last 30 years.

Max Tischler (credit: CBS)

Tischler spent several days inside intensive care at a hospital in Denver fighting for his life

It all started when he noticed some mouse droppings inside a garage on a ranch outside of Kremmling.

Hantavirus gets inside a person’s lungs through the air if the droppings are disturbed by sweeping or vacuuming.

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(credit: CBS)

Hantavirus is extremely rare but New Mexico and Colorado lead the nation in reported cases.

“I had flu-like symptoms and I was just going to ride it out, but my wife was encouraging me to go to the doctor,” Tischler told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel on Wednesday.

Doctors say that early treatment contributed to Tischler surviving the virus.

“If I would’ve waited another day or two instead of trying to ride out the flu-like symptoms, I probably would not be here talking to you.”

Deer mice carry hantavirus (credit:

Common field mice, like the ones found in homes likely don’t carry the virus, but the deer mice do.

The health department’s website recommends wearing a protective mask and airing out sheds before disturbing any mouse droppings to lessen the risk of contracting Hantavirus.

LINK: Colorado Department of Health and Environment

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Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.