Nothing like a press release from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to cheer up your day:

The time for spring cleaning is here, and with it, the risk of exposure to serious animal-carried diseases like hantavirus and rabies. The Department of Health recommends taking precautions when cleaning areas where wild animals may have been. Visible droppings, nests, dead rodents or bats are signs of animals that can carry these dangerous diseases.

“Although these illnesses are rare, they can be deadly,” says State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes.

The news release page on the DOH web site is always an uplifting read. For example, in recent months I've enjoyed "Tick season is here and the state Department of Health is collecting them," "Chicks and ducklings can carry Salmonella, putting kids at risk," and of course the classic "Seattle psychologist suspended indefinitely due to mental illness."

Happy spring!