CDC warns 10,000 possibly at risk from hantavirus in Yosemite outbreak

August 31, 2012HEALTH - Some 10,000 people who stayed in tent cabins at Yosemite National Park over the summer may be at risk for the deadly rodent-borne hantavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a health advisory on Friday. The advisory urges lab testing of patients with symptoms consistent with the lung disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and recommends that doctors notify state health departments when it is found. “An estimated 10,000 persons stayed in the ‘Signature Tent Cabins’ from June 10 through August 24, 2012,” the CDC said in the advisory. “People who stayed in the tents between June 10 and August 24 may be at risk of developing HPS in the next 6 weeks.” Two men have died from hantavirus linked to the Yosemite outbreak and four other people were sickened but survived, California health officials have said. Most of the victims were believed to have contracted the virus while staying in tent-style cabins this summer in a popular Yosemite camping area called Curry Village. Park officials earlier this week shut down 91 insulated tent cabins after finding deer mice, which carry the disease and can burrow through pencil-sized holes, nesting between the double walls of the structures. Park authorities have already notified 2,900 parties of visitors who rented the tent cabins from June through August who they may have been exposed to hantavirus. Nearly 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, attracted to the park’s dramatic scenery and hiking trails. Roughly 70 percent of those visitors congregate in Yosemite Valley, where Curry Village is located. Hantavirus is carried in rodent feces, urine and saliva, which dries out and mixes with dust that can be inhaled by humans, especially in small, confined spaces with poor ventilation. People can also be infected by eating contaminated food, touching contaminated surfaces or being bitten by infected rodents. The virus starts out causing flu-like symptoms, including headache, fever, muscle ache, shortness of breath and cough. Initial symptoms may appear up to six weeks after exposure and can lead to severe breathing difficulties and death. Although there is no cure for hantavirus, treatment after early detection through blood tests can save lives. The virus, which has never been known to be transmitted between humans, kills 38 percent of those it infects. –Reuters
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4 Responses to CDC warns 10,000 possibly at risk from hantavirus in Yosemite outbreak

  1. Sam Beckett says:

    Yay! Over 10,000 infected with a super deadly virus which the officials did nothing to prevent…now those 10,000 that left the park, go places, touch things that others go & touch which infects more & all those go home to families, friends, work, school….global pandemic baby!

  2. Shelley says:

    Hi Alvin,

    hope you are well…. heads up, first reported Swine Flu death in Ohio…. pretty “action packed” week (lack of a better way of saying) in general with the quakes, storms, dormant volcanoes waking up, etc… the Big Island slowed a little with the activity a few weeks ago but is again experiencing swarms.

    i did notice something odd at night and very early morning: the smell of sulfur. i’m on Oahu but i suppose the sulfur from 200+miles from Big Island is possible….

    anyways, here is the link to the Swine Flu for Ohio: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/2012/08/31/death-linked-new-swine-flu-ohioan/jjYUVHjCKzPQ98VDF3pueO/story.html

    thank you for all your hard work and keeping us all up to date. you are VERY much appreciated, wish you knew how much.

    aloha,
    shelley

  3. Skeptical citizen says:

    And A Preventive program of trapping & poisoning rodents could have prevented or lessened the danger. But your not allowed to kill anything in the park, The whole balance of nature nonsence.

  4. Emanni says:

    Third Yosemite visitor dies of hantavirus; eight now infected
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/yosemite-hantavirus-third-death.html

    Two more cases of hantavirus have been linked to Yosemite National Park, including one that resulted in the death of a West Virginia resident, officials announced Thursday.

    Three people have now died of the rare, rodent-borne disease after visiting the park this summer; five others have been sickened.

    Yosemite officials announced the two additional cases; the death was confirmed by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia, which said that a Kanawha County resident who visited the park “in recent months” died of the disease.

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