Yosemite National Park has issued a health alert for some visitors who stayed in the park's Curry Village from mid-June through the end of August. An outbreak of hantavirus, spread mainly by the urine and feces of infected deer mice, has killed at least two people and sickened an unknown number of other campers.
The National Park Service is warning people to seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms listed below, which can be fatal.
The two who died, and a third who has the illness and a fourth is listed as a probable case, all stayed in "Signature Tent Cabins" in Yosemite National Park's Curry Village in June. The park is contacting 1,700 past visitors who may have been exposed to the disease, according to the Yosemite National Park news release.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the illness is deadly in 38 percent of patients.
People infected with hantavirus show symptoms one to five weeks after exposure.
Yosemite has set up a non-emergency phone line at (209) 372-0822 for questions regarding the disease, which will be staffed daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
abdominal problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain)
shortness of breath (lungs fill with fluid)
The park service news release said that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Yosemite National Park Public Health Service officers conduct periodic rodent surveys to monitor deer mouse abundance and virus activity in mouse populations.
Yosemite National Park has conducted additional rodent trapping and is increasing rodent-proofing and trapping measures in tent cabins and buildings throughout the park. Structures throughout the park continue to be cleaned by following recommended practices and are inspected regularly. Yosemite also conducts routine rodent proofing of buildings and facilities throughout the park.
According to the California Department of Public Health, there have been approximately 60 cases in California and 587 cases nationally, since hatavirus pulmonary syndrome was first identified in 1993. About one third of HPS cases identified have been fatal.
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