Ninth Yosemite Visitor Contracts Hantavirus

2:40 PM, Sep 14, 2012   |    comments
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Washington, D.C. (WUSA) -- Yosemite National Park officals say a ninth visitor has been diagnosed with the deadly hantavirus over the summer. 

Hantavirus is spread through contact with dust that is contaminated with feces and urine of deer mice. Its symptoms are similar to those associated with the flu.  It does not spread from human-to-human. 

The visitor, from California, visited Yosemite in early July and has since recovered.  However, three of the park's visitors this summer have died from the hantavirus. 

All but one of the park's visitors who have fallen ill with the virus have stayed in the Signature Tent Cabins at Curry Village, which have been shut down.  The other tourist who caught the virus is said to have been 15 miles away in the High Sierra Camps.   Yosemite sent alert e-mails to visitors who stayed at the two camps, and on Wednesday, they extended their warning to 230,000 more guests who stayed in all other camps in the park. 

Hantavirus is fatal to a third those who become infected.  The virus may take up to six weeks to incubate before taking a toll on the body, so officials have expressed concern that more visitors may still be at risk.  Although the virus has no cure, it is recommended to undergo blood tests to detect the virus early and to improve chances of full recovery. 


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