PARK COUNTY, Colo. - The Park County Sheriff's Office confirms Hantavirus killed a 29-year-old deputy.
Deputy Joseph Edward Ybarra Hamilton died on October 14, 2013.
The Sheriff's Office says Deputy Hamilton, 29, was in good health and his death came as a surprise.
Investigators quickly zeroed in on Hantavirus as a possible cause of his death because Deputy Hamilton recently purchased a new home in southeastern Park County and he had been working to clean up sheds and outbuildings on the property. Hantavirus is spread through contact with infected rodents or their droppings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Hantavirus was not very well known until a significant outbreak of the illness in the four corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah in 1993.
Click here to read more about the disease from the CDC.