Third Person Dies From Hantavirus After Yosemite Visit, CDC Extends Warning To 12,000 More
A third person has died from the hantavirus after visiting California’s Yosemite National Park, and another case has been reported, raising the case number to eight.
Officials announced the new cases on Thursday, raising the death toll to three for the rare, rodent-born disease, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The hantavirus death has been confirmed by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia. A Kanawha County resident who recently visited the park died of the rare disease. Yosemite officials originally traced the hantavirus cases to the Curry Village campground’s tent cabins, but the new case is believed to originate from the High Sierra Camps in a different area of the park.
Public health agencies around the country have been warned of the outbreak and alerts were issued internationally as well. The CDC initially warned the 10,000 people who stayed in the signature tent cabins between June 10 and August 24, saying that they were at risk.
Reuters notes that Yosemite National Park officials extended the hantavirus alert to 12,000 more former visitors, warning them that they may have been exposed to the deadly disease. The latest advisory brings the total number of possibly affected people to 22,000, according to Yosemite officials.
There have only been 587 cases of hantavirus diagnosed in the US between 1993 and 2011, with one-third proving to be fatal. The cases at Yosemite are unusual, because park officials and public health authorities have never seen more than one case of the disease in the same location within a year.
News of the outbreak prompted a 20 percent cancellation rate in reservations over Labor Day weekend, with Yosemite National Park visitors spooked about the hantavirus outbreak.