Lifestyle & Belief

Hantavirus kills second Yosemite park visitor


A waterfall at Yosemite National Park.


David Silverman

Another visitor to Yosemite National Park has died after contracting hantavirus, a rare rodent-borne disease, causing officials to warn people who have visited the park since June to watch out for symptoms of the disease.

Acccording to USA today, two people have died, and another woman, who visited the park in June, is recovering. Park officials are investigating a fourth case as well, and they believe that all four visitors may have contracted the disease at Curry Village, the park's most popular lodging area.

It takes about five weeks for symptoms of the virus, which is contracted by inhaling small pieces of feces, urine, or saliva of infected mice to manifest.

According to the Merced Sun-Star, hantavirus may have been contracted at Yosemite in 2000 and in 2010.

Hantavirus is a life-threatning disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza, says the National Institute of Health.

The Associated Press reported that there have only been 587 documented cases of hantavirus in the US since it was first identified in 1993. A third have been fatal, and there is no specific treatment for the virus.