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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another Yosemite Camper Dies From Hantavirus

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 8:15 AM

click to enlarge Upgraded to Curry Village - INKLEIN, EDIT BY JJRON VIA FLICKR
  • Inklein, Edit by jjron via Flickr
  • Upgraded to Curry Village

Sadly, another adventurer who visited Yosemite this summer has reportedly died from a rare, rodent-borne disease known as the hantavirus.

Health officials issued an alert yesterday, warning anyone who visited the national park this summer to watch out for flu-like symptoms -- and see a doctor if you experience any.

It's the second Yosemite-related hantavirus death this summer; another person died after visiting the park in June, Scott Gediman, spokesman for the park, told reporters. Since then, there's been one other confirmed case of the illness, and a fourth is now being investigated, officials said.

So here's what you need to know:

If you stayed in the Curry Village tent cabins this summer, watch for flu-like symptoms; the four visitors who have died or fell ill might have been staying there between June and August. However it could take up to five weeks after exposure to urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents for symptoms to develop.

Symptoms includes fever, aches, and chills.

Unfortunately, park officials can't track this disease. Thousands of people visit the park every month, which means there's no way to contact those who stayed in the popular Curry Village site -- or even set foot there for the day, officials said.

But rest assured, if you had Labor Day plans to head to Yosemite, park officials are doing all that they can to keep this fatal disease from claiming anymore lives.

"They're doing everything they can to eliminate areas where mice can get into the cabins," Gediman told the Chron. "This was never because the cabins were dirty, it was never because we didn't take care of them. This is just because approximately 20 percent of all deer mice are infected with hantavirus. And they're here in Yosemite Valley."

If you feel ill, cancel your plans this week and call a doctor.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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