Fatigue, fever, chills, and muscle aches, sounds like the flu right? Right. Until your lungs fill with fluid and you experience shortness of breath and possibly death. What does this have to do with national parks you ask? Well, according to ABC News a second person had died from a rare virus after camping in Yosemite National Park. The rare virus is known as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. Hantavirus can be contracted by humans from rodent droppings and urine. The virus can enter the body through the mouth, nose, and can sometimes be passed through rodent bites.
The bad news is there are no specific treatments or cure, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is Hantavirus can be stopped before it becomes fatal if recognized early enough. Luckily, it cannot be spread from person to person, and it can be prevented if you take certain precautions while camping. For example, you should make sure your food is sealed tightly in its containers. Also, airing out sleeping areas may also be beneficial.
Scott Gediman, a spokes person for the park told Los Angeles Times about their efforts to get the problem under control. There has been about 3,100 letters sent out to people who have stayed in the infected areas of the park in order to warn them that they may be at risk for the virus. Public health authorities are testing deer mice in the area as part of the investigation.
Yosemite’s lodging concessionaire reported that they had lost 20 percent of the Labor Day weekend’s reservations. There has also been a slight decline in tourism in the surrounding areas.