YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA - A total of six human cases of hantavirus have been linked to Yosemite National Park this summer, state health officials confirmed Thursday.
Earlier this month, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced one park visitor had died of the infection in late July and another visitor had been diagnosed with it. Then Aug. 27, Yosemite officials said there had been another hantavirus fatality and a fourth person had possibly contracted the disease.
Now, in all, CDPH says there have been six cases and all of the visitors stayed at the park between early June and mid-July. CDPH spokeswoman Anita Gore said four of the patients had stayed in "signature cabins" in the Boystown area of Curry Village, one stayed in an unspecified area of Curry Village and the lodging of one was still undetermined.
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Hantavirus is carried by deer mice and other rodents. Humans come in contact with the virus through rodent droppings, urine, saliva and airborne droplets. The double walls of the tent-like signature cabins can harbor mice.
The infection causes flu-like symptoms -- aches, fever and chills. It can progress to the patient having severe difficulty breathing and death.
The virus is not contagious between humans.
About 1,900 guests at the tent-like cabins during the time-frame of concern have been contacted by park officials to advise of the hantavirus.