University of New Mexico Hospital says the condition of a 25-year-old Santa Fe woman who contracted hantavirus has improved from critical to serious.

The woman, who was admitted to the Albuquerque hospital on May 7, is the first hantavirus case in New Mexico this year.

State Department of Health spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer says an investigation into where she might have contracted the virus found boxes that had been taken out of storage during a move and evidence of rodents.

Hantavirus, an often deadly disease, is transmitted through the urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents. People contract it by breathing in the dried particles.

Early symptoms include fever and muscle aches, possibly with chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cough.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com