Cute, huh? Those big brown eyes, little paws, and long whiskers. Seems a shame that something so tiny and cute could carry a disease like the hantavirus.
Hantaviruses are a relatively new discovery. (Read the history here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hantavirus .) The most recent outbreak in the United States occurred this summer in four people who had stayed in Yosemite National Park between June and August.
The disease is rare, but humans can be infected with hantaviruses through rodent bites, urine, saliva, or contact with rodent waste products—often inhaled when waste-laden dust is disturbed. Two of the known culprits who carry the disease are the cute little guys pictured—the white-footed mouse (left) and the deer mouse (right).
So. . .maybe people who jump on tables to avoid mice have the right idea.
Read more about the recent outbreak at these two links: