Yosemite National Park officials have sent out a warning that 1,700 people may have been exposed to a deadly rodent-borne lung disease while vacationing at the California park.
MSN reported on Wednesday, August 29 that two people that had visited the park had died from the hanatvirus illness.
A spokesperson for Yosemite National Park, named Scott Gediman stated on Tuesday that two tourists that stayed in Curry Village have been reported to have died, and a third has been reported to have been sickened with the virus, but is in stable condition.
Park investigators are looking into whether a fourth tourist was suffering from the virus, which is carried by wild rodents. All four of the infected tourists all stayed in the park’s tent cabins on overlapping days in mid-June.
Yosemite park superintendent Don Neubacher stated “”We are encouraging anyone who stayed in Curry Village since June to be aware of the symptoms of hantavirus and seek medical attention at the first sign of illness.”
Symptoms of the hantaviris include fever, headache and muscle aches, that appear one to six weeks after exposure. The virus kills slightly more than one-third of those infected.
Yosemite National Park sees nearly 4 million tourists a year, with 70 percent staying at the Curry Village location.
All the cabins in located in the village have been cleaned and remain open, with officials stating that they do not believe that there is any immediate health risk.
The victims have not been identified publicly, and did not know each other. The Northern California man died at the end of July, with the Pennsylvania man dying from the hantaviris two weeks ago.
Park officials determined that the people that were stricken had all stayed in the tent cabins during the same week, and have began reaching out to 1,700 others who all stayed in the area.
Public health officials across the nation have ben alerted to be on the lookout for signs of the hantaviris.
Officials believe that only deer mice carry the hantaviris in California, with as many as 20 percent of Yosemite National Park carrying the disease.
“This doesn’t mean we’re going to attempt to eradicate the mice population,” stated Scott Gediman “The deer mice are an important part of the ecosystem.”
The majority of hantaviris infection result from breathing air contaminated with rodent droppings, or urine, usually in small, can spaces with poor circulation. People can contract the virus by eating contaminated food, touching contaminated surfaces, or being bitten by the infected rodents.
Hantaviris can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, but there is no treatment at the present time, supportive care can improve chances of survival.
If you, or someone you know recently vacationed at Yosemite National Park, please advise them to be on the lookout for symptoms of the hantavirus, or to contact their physician to schedule a blood test.
Read more news here.
Follow @popcultexaminer on Twitter for all the latest news around the world.