BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ Spring cleaning season is here and the North Dakota Health Department says people should be aware of the risk of being infected by hantavirus.

Health officials are warning residents to be aware of the presence of rodents when cleaning up houses, barns, outbuildings and other places that have been closed off for long periods of time.

People can catch hantavirus by being exposed to the droppings of infected rodents or by a bite.

Hantavirus has killed seven people and infected six others in North Dakota since 1993.

When cleaning areas where rodents may nest, officials recommend using rubber or plastic gloves and spraying or soaking the area with a mixture of bleach and water to reduce dust and disinfect the area.