Deadly virus alert at California / US News

Officials at the Yosemite National Park California have discovered a second person has died from hantavirus.

Officials at the Yosemite National Park California have discovered a second person has died from hantavirus.

Officials at the Yosemite National Park in California are warning past visitors to be aware of symptoms like flu-like aches, fever and dizziness.

Health officials learned over the past weekend of the second hantavirus death, which killed a person who visited the park in June, spokesman Scott Gediman said in a statement.

There is one other confirmed case of the illness, and a fourth is being investigated.

Park officials are particularly appealing to visitors who stayed in tent cabins at Curry Village, from mid-June through to the end of August, to beware of any symptoms of hantavirus – which can develop up to five weeks after exposure to urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents.

There is no specific treatment for the virus and about one-third of people who contract it will die.

There is also no evidence that the disease spreads from one person to another.

Mr Gediman told the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that, of the 408 tent cabins in the village, 91 are of the “signature” variety where those who became ill stayed.

It was not clear how many people stayed in the cabins in the period for which park officials issued the warning.

Mr Gediman said contractors are working on the signature cabins to protect park-goers.

He said:”They’re doing everything they can to eliminate areas where mice can get into the cabins.

“This was never because the cabins were dirty, it was never because we didn’t take care of them.

“This is just because approximately 20% of all deer mice are infected with hantavirus. And they’re here in Yosemite Valley.”

This year’s deaths mark the first such deaths among park visitors, although two others were stricken in a more remote area in 2000 and 2010.

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