West Virginia resident latest death linked to Yosemite hantavirus outbreak

 

A resident of Kanawha County, West Virginia who confirmed positive for hantavirus has died according to health officials. The individual visited Yosemite National Park recently and is the third fatality linked to tent cabins at the California park.

According to a Kanawha-Charleston Health Department news release Thursday, the case is only the third case of hantavirus in the state since 1981.

The National Park Service said in an alert Friday, this brings the total cases of the rodent-borne disease linked to staying at Yosemite National Park to eight, in which three died.

Seven of the eight cases of HPS have been linked to the “Signature Tent Cabins” in Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. Those cabins have been closed and parties who stayed overnight since June 10 have been reached out to by the park or the operator of Curry Village, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that one of the confirmed cases stayed in multiple High Sierra Camps in Yosemite.

Yosemite National Park increased its hantavirus warning yesterday to 22,000 people who are at risk for the virus, including at least 2,500 international visitors in 39 countries.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a rare but serious disease that occurs throughout the United States and is caused by a virus that individuals get through contact with the urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents.

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear which include coughing, shortness of breath, and pressure on the chest. The incubation period for HPS is typically 2 to 4 weeks after exposure, with a range of a few days up to 6 weeks. There is no specific treatment available but early recognition and administration of supportive care greatly increase the chance of survival.

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