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Hantavirus May Infect Thousands at Yosemite

Updated on August 31, 2012
Inspecting the  tent cabins at Yosemite
Inspecting the tent cabins at Yosemite

Trouble in paradise. Yosemite National Park has had to close 91 cabins due to the hantavirus and deaths of two campers. Anyone who stayed in the cabins in late June into July\August are being contacted and this could run into thousands. The hantavirus is from a mouse and is a pulmonary problem that began at their cabins in Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. The virus is carried and spread by feces, urine and saliva. When these dry out and mix with dust humans can inhale the virus especially in small cabins and tents in Curry Village. People can also be infected by eating contaminated food (dust on food), touching contaminated surfaces or mouse bites. About 20% of the mice in the park carry the virus.

The virus has a 36%l lethal rate.

Hantavirus when it begins seems to be flu-like and then quickly moves into the lungs. Incubation can take up to six weeks after exposure. Yosemite officials state that up to 10000 campers might have been exposed. There is no cure for this virus and it cannot be transmitted between humans. If you suspect it, a blood test can detect it.

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