2 New Hantavirus Cases Linked to Yosemite
Six so far hit with rare viral infection
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 31, 2012 2:05 AM CDT
Campers who have stayed in tent cabins like this in Ysemite National Park may have been exposed to a rare but potentially deadly rodent-carried virus.   (AP Photo/DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.)

(Newser) – Authorities have identified two new cases of hantavirus—and officially confirmed an earlier non-fatal case—bringing to six the number of people infected while camping in Yosemite National Park in California. Two people have already died, and authorities fear thousands could be at risk for the unusual viral infection, which is passed to humans via mice urine, droppings, or saliva.

Officials have shut down the 91 “signature tent cabins” in Curry Village in Yosemite, where they traced the hantavirus to deer mouse droppings in the area. The first three victims all stayed in cabins within 100 feet of one another in June, reports the Los Angeles Times. Of only 587 confirmed cases in the US from 1993 to 2011, a third have been fatal. Yosemite officials have sent letters to 2,900 campers, warning them to seek medical attention if they show the flu-like symptoms of the disease.