Threat of Hantavirus Lingers For Yosemite Campers


He was so disturbed the officials didn't tell him about hantavirus that he called this week, pretending to make a reservation just to see if the registration official would tell him about the outbreak. When he asked about it, he said they told him they were still investigating.

"Somebody died in July," he said. "That's all I need to know."

The California man died in late July from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which starts with flulike symptoms, including fever and fatigue, but progresses by making it difficult for victims to breath. A second person from Pennsylvania died from the illness this week. Two others are believed to have contracted the disease as well. They all stayed in the Curry Campgrounds at Yosemite.

But not all tents at the Curry campground are thought to be problematic, Cobb said. Of the 408 stationary tents and cabins guests can rent for the night, only 91 have mouse problems, she said.

The 91 Signature Cabins built in 2009 have a structural problem that allows mice in, so they were all vacated on Monday to allow construction workers to "retrofit them so that they are completely mouse-proof," Cobb said. Guests have been relocated to other parts of the campsite or other parts of the park.

She did not know how much the renovations will cost, but said they were prompted by the hantavirus outbreak.

"This is Yosemite National Park," she said, adding that it's a wild place. "It's quite a chore, but we're identifying which part of the cabins are allowing mice to get in, tearing portions apart and rebuilding."

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