10,000 visitors to Yosemite National Park at risk for Hantavirus
Four fell ill after staying at popular Curry Village camping site
Hantavirus, a deadly rodent-borne illness that first sickens people with flu-like symptoms before sometimes killing them is the chief concern for the 10,000 visitors to Yosemite National Park who stayed at a popular camping spot. Some 10,000 people who stayed in tent cabins at the park's Curry Village may have been exposed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Most of the victims are thought to have bunked in one of the 91 'Signature' tent-style cabins in Yosemite's Curry Village camping area.
Two men have died from Hantavirus linked to the Yosemite outbreak and four have been sickened -- but survived. There is no cure for Hantavirus, but it can not be transmitted from one human being to another. The CDC said additional suspected cases were being investigated from "multiple health jurisdictions."
Most of the victims are thought to have bunked in one of the 91 "Signature" tent-style cabins in Yosemite's Curry Village camping area.
"An estimated 10,000 persons stayed in the 'Signature Tent Cabins' from June 10 through August 24, 2012," the CDC said. "People who stayed in the tents between June 10 and August 24 may be at risk of developing HPS in the next six weeks."
All 91 tents have been shut down of the insulated tent cabins after finding deer mice, which carry the disease and can burrow through holes the size of pencil erasers, nesting between the double walls.
Park authorities have contacted approximately 3,000 parties of visitors who stayed in the tent cabins since mid-June, advising them to seek immediate medical attention if they have symptoms of Hantavirus.
Nearly four million people from all over the world visit Yosemite, one of the nation's most popular national parks. The park's dramatic scenery and hiking trails makes it a very popular tourist destination. Roughly 70 percent of those visitors congregate in Yosemite Valley, where Curry Village is located.
Hantavirus begins causing flu-like symptoms, including headache, fever, muscle ache, shortness of breath and cough, and can lead to severe breathing difficulties and death.
The incubation period for the virus is typically two to four weeks after exposure. Just over a third of cases are fatal.
"Providers are reminded to consider the diagnosis of HPS in all persons presenting with clinically compatible illness and to ask about potential rodent exposure or if they had recently visited Yosemite National Park," the CDC says.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Keywords: Hantavirus, Yosemite National Park, rodents, flu-like symptoms, disease
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