View Mobile Site

Yosemite sends warnings out to 230,000 visitors

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED September 14, 2012 12:34 a.m.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (AP) —  Some 230,000 people who booked overnight accommodations in Yosemite since June are now being warned about the deadly rodent-borne illness that has caused three deaths.

A California visitor in July to Yosemite National Park has recovered after becoming the ninth person diagnosed with the hantavirus disease, National Park Service spokesman John Quinley said on Thursday.

The majority of the cases involved guests at the Signature cabins in Curry Village. One person stayed at multiple High Sierra camps in wilderness areas.

Park officials have sent health warnings to people who stayed at the two locations, advising there may have been a chance of increased exposure.

On Wednesday, officials sent thousands more notifications to reservation holders who booked stays at other locations in the park — locations not associated with any exposures or infections.

Officials said there was no evidence to indicate that people who stayed elsewhere in the park were at increased risk of exposure to hantavirus. The notifications were meant to provide information about the disease and raise awareness, Quinley said.

More than 230,000 overnight guests have stayed in the park since early June.

The disease is carried in the feces, urine and saliva of deer mice and other rodents, and carried on airborne particles and dust.

People can be infected by inhaling the virus or by handling infected rodents. Infected people usually have flu-like symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, chills and muscle and body aches.

The illness can take six weeks to incubate before rapid acute respiratory and organ failure. Anyone exhibiting the symptoms must be hospitalized.

Health officials said there have been more than 600 hantavirus cases nationally since the virus was first identified in 1993. The Yosemite cases are unique because they occurred in clusters, while previous cases have been individual exposures.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...