Yosemite hantivirus claims third life

Sept. 6, 2012 at 9:00 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A third Yosemite National Park visitor has died of the rare rodent-borne hantavirus disease, officials said Thursday.

The death of a West Virginia resident and a man from Northern California who was sickened bring the total number of cases linked to the park in California to eight, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia confirmed a Kanawha County resident who visited the park "in recent months" had died of the disease.

The earlier fatalities were a man from Pennsylvania and a man from California. The four other people sickened are from California.

Yosemite officials initially said they had traced the cases to the "signature tent cabins" in the park's Curry Village campground, where mice were found inside the walls, the newspaper said. Park officials said Thursday the latest case, involving the northern California, man was believed to have originated in the High Sierra Camps, located elsewhere in the park.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said 10,000 people who stayed in the signature tent cabins between June 10 and Aug. 24 were at risk. Yosemite officials said an additional 6,000 people would be notified because of the case linked to the High Sierra Camps, the Times said.

The CDC said 587 cases were diagnosed nationwide from 1993 and 2011, with about one-third ending in death.

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