They’re rather cute with their big eyes and ears, and white tummies. But the deer mouse can be anything but cute when it comes to the virus they carry. Spring is that time of year when people get busy cleaning out garages, barns, and storage sheds, and these are also the places that the deer mouse prefers, since it often lives near people in rural and semi-rural areas. While other rodents do carry Hantavirus, the deer mouse has been found to be the main host. People are exposed to the virus by breathing in tiny virus laced dust particles kicked into the air. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome has symptoms similar to influenza, and was virtually unknown to the medical community before its 1993 outbreak in the Southwestern United States, but that doesn’t mean it was a new disease. Interestingly, the Navajo Indians, living in the area of the 93 outbreak, recognized a similar disease in their medical traditions, and actually associated its occurrence with mice. Even more impressive is that Navajo medical beliefs concur with public health recommendations for preventing the disease, which is to keep your home, outbuildings, and worksites clean and set traps to decrease rodent infestation.