CDC: Yosemite hantavirus outbreak has killed 3, sickened 10

by Eryn Brown

To date, 10 people have fallen ill - and three have died - in the hantavirus outbreak at Yosemite National Park's "signature" cabins in Curry Village, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hantavirus only infects a handful of people in the U.S. each year, but when it strikes it is deadly about a third of the time, killing by shutting down the respiratory system. Humans can catch the virus by getting bitten by infected deer mice, which carry the disease, or by inhaling that are shed in mouse feces or urine. Hantavirus cannot pass from person to person.

At Yosemite, infected with the Sin Nombre strain of hantavirus took up residence in the insulation in the signature cabins. Nine of the 10 human hantavirus cases occurred in guests who had stayed in the cabins, researchers from state public health agencies, the National Park Service and the CDC said in a brief article issued Wednesday in the CDC's .

The researchers also reported that the 10 patients came from California, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and were between 12 and 56 years of age. Nine had typical symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, such as fever, chills and aching. There is no treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, but receiving intubation, and other supportive care can boost survival.

The CDC urged physicians to keep hantavirus in mind as a possible diagnosis for patients "with a history of rodent exposure" who fall ill with fever and sudden respiratory problems. The Yosemite cabins have been closed since Aug. 28. The National Park Service is making changes to park facilities to help prevent future hantavirus outbreaks.

 

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

9th Yosemite Park hantavirus case

Sep 13, 2012

(AP)—The National Park Service says a ninth visitor to Yosemite National Park has been infected with the rodent-borne illness hantavirus.

More Yosemite tourists infected with deadly virus

Aug 31, 2012

Six visitors to California's famous Yosemite National Park have now been infected with a rare rodent-born virus, two of whom have died, officials said Thursday, in an update on the outbreak.

3rd hantavirus death linked to Yosemite outbreak

Sep 06, 2012

(AP)—A West Virginian is the third person to die so far from a rodent-borne illness linked to some tent cabins at Yosemite National Park that has now stricken eight people in all, health officials said Thursday.

2nd Yosemite visitor dies of rodent-borne illness

Aug 28, 2012

(AP)—About 1,700 people who stayed in tent cabins at Yosemite National Park this summer were warned Tuesday they may have been exposed to a deadly rodent-borne virus blamed for the deaths of two campers.

Yosemite extends hantavirus alert to 230,000

Sep 14, 2012

California's Yosemite National Park has said that it has extended its hantavirus warning to 230,000 people after three people died from the rodent-borne disease.

Recommended for you

African leaders to launch $100m Ebola emergency battle plan

14 minutes ago

The head of the World Health Organization and presidents of the west African countries suffering the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak were due to meet in Guinea on Friday to launch a $100 million emergency response plan.

Female baby boomers with asthma? You may need help

3 hours ago

Women over the age of 65 face numerous barriers to good health: an increased risk for obesity, greater struggles against poverty and higher rates of asthma with worse health outcomes. An article published in the August issue ...

New guidelines help keep asthma out of 'yellow zone'

3 hours ago

If you have asthma, you may have an asthma action plan with a "stoplight system" to help you recognize and respond to changes and understand when symptoms are getting worse and need more attention. If you're in the green ...

User comments