2nd Yosemite Camper Dies of Hantavirus

4 suspected with viral infection stayed at same camp
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 28, 2012 3:16 AM CDT
Updated Aug 28, 2012 6:37 AM CDT
Two people who stayed here in the Curry Village camp site in Yosemite have died of hantavirus.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(Newser) – A second person has died from the rare hantavirus infection after staying at a Yosemite campsite in California. Both victims and two others who may have contracted the virus all spent time in tent cabins at the popular Curry Village campground, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "This is being taken very seriously," said a park spokesman. "We've been able to isolate the cabin area, we've done the thorough cleaning, we're monitoring the area, we're trapping mice and testing them."

Hantavirus is a rare viral infection carried by mice and passed to humans through the animals' feces or urine. Twenty percent of all deer mice, the most prevalent mice at Yosemite, are infected with the hantavirus. People who contract hantavirus exhibit flu-like symptoms one to six weeks after exposure. There's no cure or specific treatment for the illness. Of 60 people who contracted hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in California since 1992, about a third of them died. (Read more Yosemite National Park stories.)

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