Hantavirus in Yosemite

Posted by: wagga

Hantavirus in Yosemite - 08/16/12 04:57 PM

Story in the Fresno Bee and also the Washington Post.

As a commenter on the Bee noted:

"This can happen because rattlesnakes are not tolerated in urban areas of the park. We win the battle but we lose the war."

Posted by: lynn-a-roo

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 08/16/12 06:33 PM

Wagga,

Maybe this article has already been posted on the WZ, but I can't find it. Below the article about the Hantavirus I found the following article which makes me want to cry....I love Yosemite....I love staying at Curry Village.



http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/09/2867841/merced-river-plan-scenarios-offer.html
Posted by: Harvey Lankford

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 08/17/12 04:26 AM

rare hantavirus deaths have occurred elsewhere from mice, like in trail shelters on the AT here in the East.

it is rare... far more people die swimming, or getting hit by lightning.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 08/17/12 07:28 AM

Since it is so rare, I wonder... Is the infection rate very low, or are many people exposed while only a few become seriously affected?

I understand even polio is like that -- only a few are/were hit by the serious effects, while very many showed they had been exposed and had antibodies against the virus.
Posted by: pBerg

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 08/18/12 01:43 AM

That poor gentleman frown I stayed with my parents in Curry Village for a couple nights in June when they visited. So many things to worry about out there that could hurt us. Guess it just wasnt our time yet. I feel for his family.

Now I'm gonna hafta add the hantavirus to my list of things to be neurotic about.
Posted by: wagga

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 08/18/12 07:13 AM

More info here and a pic of a deer mouse.
Posted by: wagga

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 08/27/12 07:40 PM

CNN is now reporting 1 more dead after contracting hantavirus at Yosemite National Park.

"Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome is a rare but often fatal lung disease that kills about a third of those who get infected. Don Neubacher, Yosemite's superintendent, noted that people typically don't fall ill with hantavirus until between one and six weeks after they are exposed."

SteveC, CaT & I were there several weeks ago, we didn't stay in the hantavillage, but did enjoy a hantapizza at Curry.
Posted by: wagga

Yosemite Officials Say 1,700 Visitors Risk Disease - 08/28/12 04:34 PM

Park officials are now stating that as many as 1700 Yosemite visitors may have been exposed to Hantavirus. Details here.

"The rustic tent cabins of Yosemite National Park a favorite among families looking to rough it in one of the nation's most majestic settings have become the scene of a public health crisis after two visitors died from a rodent-borne disease following overnight stays."
Posted by: Harvey Lankford

Re: Yosemite Officials Say 1,700 Visitors Risk Disease - 08/28/12 05:22 PM

just to be Devil's Advocate...about these hantavirus cases that may have been exposed in Yosemite in mid-June:

symptoms appear 1-6 weeks after exposure...so...is it just a statistical guess that the commonality of those 2 people visiting Yosemite is how they attribute Yosemite mice to the disease, or...could they have caught it somewhere else from other infected mice (yes) and we just don't know where? I just found out that hantavirus pulmonary syndrome was once called "Four Corners Disease" so these travellers might just have been exposed somewhere else on their western journey, and all roads lead to Yosemite for many of them.

Some of this sleuthing done by the CDC and other agencies is statistical and retrospective. Being wagga-like, I am suggesting "no picture-no proof", it may be all statistical probability. I suppose some type of genetic testing of the deceased persons hantavirus and cross-testing with the hantavirus in Yosemite mice would be the only proof positive. I wonder....

There are hundreds of tents, thousands of visitors (incl me) who have stayed there .We have no public knowledge of the unfortunate deceased person's immune systems, either, and that may have been a huge contributing factor.

from CNN (not CDC):
The two recent hantavirus cases bring the 2012 total in California to four. About one-third of the 60 cases reported in the state since 1993 have been fatal, the department said. Yosemite National Park saw one hantavirus case each in 2000 and 2010

I hope they don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, ie, Curry Village.

edit:
PS from wagga's link
All the victims stayed in the cabins between June 10 and June 20, and all four known cases were contracted by people who stayed within 100 feet of each other but not necessarily in the same cabins.

This of course makes it sound much more statistically likely, but I make the case here for care in interpreting ANY scientific conclusion (such as climate, for example) as sometimes more difficult than it seems at first glance.



Posted by: wagga

Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 08/29/12 07:18 PM

Details from Reuters.

"Captain Charles Higgins, director of the National Park Service public health office, said that park officials decided to close 91 tent cabins after finding rodents nesting between the double walls of the cabins."

"Our current thinking is that the design of these tents -- double walls -- provides rodent space," Higgins said. "We can't get to it to clean it."
Posted by: Harvey Lankford

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 08/30/12 05:44 PM

okay, I will be even more conspiratorial

end of Curry Village as we know it

too much rockfall off of Glacier Point - yes
too many floods - yes, or at least nearby
too many lethal disease mice - apparently, but so does my attic

this may be the way to de-people the Valley as it is a goal of some anyway. I'm not saying that is good or bad, as both sides have good points, but all these rationales are provided by Mother Nature and therefore may be more supportable.

just talkin'

Posted by: Bee

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 08/30/12 07:36 PM

I completely agree with you, Harvey.


(the proper lingo is supposed to be the insufferably obnoxious "Just Saying"!!!!)
Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 08/31/12 06:57 AM

More news from CNN.
They are reporting 4 new cases for a total of 6. I think it should actually be 7.
Posted by: Steve C

Yosemite NP: Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome Response - 08/31/12 04:34 PM

Yosemite NP's own web page:

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome Response Continues at Yosemite National Park (August 31, 2012)

Date: August 31, 2012

NPS, CDC Urge Early Detection, Medical Attention for Individuals who Exhibit Symptoms; Health Officials Continue to Monitor New Cases, Protect Public Health

Yosemite National Park continues to scale up its public health response and outreach as a result of six confirmed cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in individuals who visited the park in June of this year..... (read more)

Posted by: Bob West

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 09/01/12 07:50 AM

Here is a little Camp Curry history:

http://www.undiscovered-yosemite.com/curry.html

Tear down Camp Curry? Heck no! There are ways of dealing with the Deer Mouse problem other than removing the buildings - the mice will just find other accomodation. (There is plenty of online information on how to deal with Hantavirus.) Even so-called mouse-proof buildings prove to be no obstacle to determine rodents. Wherever there is food, the mice will gather.

Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 09/01/12 03:55 PM

Here is an update from the Fresno Bee.

"At least six rangers are staffing phones at Yosemite National Park as visitors frightened about a growing outbreak of a deadly mouse-borne virus call seeking answers.

A park spokesman said that more than 1,000 calls a day are coming into the park, many from visitors wondering whether they are in danger of contracting or being exposed to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
"
Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 09/01/12 04:38 PM

There is an interesting thread by eeek on our sister site Yosemite News & Information.

Some are even advocating the introduction of hantacats to the hantavillage... We know how that works out!
Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 09/01/12 05:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
okay, I will be even more conspiratorial

end of Curry Village as we know it

too much rockfall off of Glacier Point - yes
too many floods - yes, or at least nearby
too many lethal disease mice - apparently, but so does my attic

this may be the way to de-people the Valley as it is a goal of some anyway. I'm not saying that is good or bad, as both sides have good points, but all these rationales are provided by Mother Nature and therefore may be more supportable.

just talkin'



Took my time to comment on this, but:

If you were to draw a 100-year rockfall line on the Valley floor, inside the cliffs, then a 100-year flood line outside the river path, you would end up with an elongated doughnut area where it would be mostly safe for the tourist. Something like a thousand acres. A place for permanent buildings for sleeping/congregation & the like. That would make the lawyers happy. The rest of us, knowing and prepared for the dangers could then happily romp around the real Yosemite.

Now, just for fun, the Empire State Building occupies a pad of around 2 acres (I'm sure the Curry Village stores occupy more space), and is less than half the height of the Valley walls. It hosts 4 million visitors a year, about the same as Yosemite! It's all relative.
Posted by: Harvey Lankford

Re: Yosemite Closes Part Of Popular Campground Over Hantavirus.. - 09/02/12 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: wagga
100-year flood line

The 100 year thing is not as safe as it sounds. We learned a bit about that here in Richmond.
After Hurricanes Camille in 1969, the "can't happen again flood" of Agnes came just 3 years later, and was even more record setting.

"There is approximately a 63.4% chance of one or more 100-year floods occurring in any 100-year period" (my italics.)

See 100 year flood math. Some would say something more than the 100 year flood line is the safe line

As for hantavirus, it is also known as Four Corners Disease
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7711347 Four Corners Disease

some history
Four Corners Disease history
Posted by: wagga

Hantavirus Kills Third Yosemite National Park Camper - 09/06/12 04:40 PM

Health officials say a West Virginia resident has died from the outbreak of a rodent-borne illness linked to Yosemite National Park.



"Last week, Yosemite National Park officials said up to 10,000 people who stayed in certain cabins might have been exposed to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Gupta says the virus has now killed three people and sickened five others."
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Hantavirus Kills Third Yosemite National Park Camper - 09/06/12 10:17 PM

I actually got an email notification today from Yosemite that I may have been exposed when I stayed at the High Sierra Camps in July, and asking me to notify all in my party and to consult with an MD. (Coincidentally, my party consisted of me and another person who happens to be a virologist.)
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Hantavirus Kills Third Yosemite National Park Camper - 09/11/12 10:15 AM

That third victim, from West Virgina, did not stay in the tent cabins at Curry Village.  This report says he visited one or more of the High Sierra camps:  Glenn Aulin, May Lake, Merced Lake, Sunrise and Vogelsang.


From Examiner.com,
Hantavirus Claims Third Yosemite Victim
By: Rick Deutsch

Quote:
Yosemite National Park, CA - September 6, 2012 - A West Virginia man has died of the rodent borne hantavirus. He became the third fatality this summer from this pulmonary disease. The man had stayed in the park's "high-country" in July. He slept at one or more of the famous High Sierra Camps and not the insulated Signature Tent Cabins in Curry Village as other victims have. This fact could increase the risk as many stay in them.

(emphasis added)
Posted by: wagga

Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/12/12 03:56 PM

From the LA Times.

"The results from the second set of mice were not yet complete, but Kramer said about 45% of the traps set in Tuolumne Meadows were successful, up from previous years. In 2007, only 17% of traps were successful; in 2008, 25%.

Some experts have wondered if more deer mice contributed to the Yosemite outbreak, as hantavirus cases in the past have been linked to an abundant population.
"
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/12/12 04:17 PM

From the article:
> "It's a really unique opportunity to learn about hantavirus because it's so unprecedented," she said.

I'll bet they're working on a vaccine already. Sooner or later, they'll require a proof of hantavaccine prior to making a reservation on the High Sierra Loop or Curry Village tent cabins. :|
Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/12/12 05:20 PM

I suspect that, like Giardia, infection depends on exposure to more than some minimum number of agents, and the state of preparedness of the immune system. Imagine taking a liter of water from a polluted stream. One hiker drinks a third of a liter and is OK, the other drinks the rest and we'll leave the results to your imagination. Like Hantavirus, Giardia has a lengthy incubation time.

So we have a situation where, for some reason, the hantamouse population doubles, so any exposure is twice as intense, and the chance of infection is increased exponentially.

This is an interesting discussion, but there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room which hasn't even been mentioned...

Disclosure: I didn't stay at an Express-something hotel last night.
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/12/12 05:37 PM

That would be an interesting metaphor if you are referring to cimex lectularius. Though I don't think they carry hanta virus.
Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/13/12 03:12 PM

CBS is now reporting some big numbers.

"Yosemite National Park has extended its hantavirus warnings to more than 230,000 people who stayed at the park overnight since early June."
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/13/12 06:25 PM

I've now received two separate Yosemite hantavirus notifications that appear to correspond to two separate trips. The first notification was triggered by my mid-July HSC stays. I believe the second notification was triggered by camping reservations I made for August in Tuolumne Meadows through recreation.gov (i.e., no lodge or curry village stay at all).
Posted by: wagga

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/13/12 07:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Akichow
That would be an interesting metaphor if you are referring to cimex lectularius. Though I don't think they carry hanta virus.

If Cimex carried hantavirus, New York would have a million dead tourists.

Sleep tight.
Posted by: SierraNevada

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/13/12 09:49 PM

The world can always use a better mouse trap.
Posted by: Harvey Lankford

Re: Yosemite Hantavirus: Mouse Population May Yield Clues - 09/14/12 05:41 AM

Originally Posted By: wagga

If Cimex carried hantavirus, New York would have a million dead tourists.

Sleep tight.


....and don't let the bed bugs bite
Posted by: wagga

Ninth Victim. - 09/16/12 01:22 PM

There are now 9 confirmed infections. Details here. Actually, not so much, being the Huff, but they do have a nice slideshow.

Kurt has a thoughtful article at National Parks Traveller.
Posted by: CaT

Re: 1 Man Dead; Possibly Contracted Hantavirus At Yosemite - 09/19/12 09:55 AM

Quote:
SteveC, CaT & I were there several weeks ago, we didn't stay in the hantavillage, but did enjoy a hantapizza at Curry.

Actually, the second night I was there, I did stay in Curry Village, but in one of the cabins. Then a couple of weeks later, when my wife was out there with me, we also stayed in Curry Village, but again, in one of the cabins.

So far, so good.

The veggie hantapizza was really good, though.

CaT
Posted by: wagga

3000 To Be Tested For Hantavirus At Yosemite - 09/29/12 09:33 AM

YOSE will now test all 3000 workers. Report here.
Posted by: wagga

Hantavirus In Yosemite May Be Shape Of Things To Come - 09/29/12 03:06 PM

Here is some food for thought.

"In 2009, in the category of possible plain bad luck, the park added insulation to some tents to replace winterized cabins destroyed in a massive rock fall in 2008. Unfortunately, mice love to live in insulation, says Gregory Glass, a hantavirus specialist and professor of infectious disease ecology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

"It may just be one of those situations where, historically, when they didn't insulate them, it wasn't that attractive for the mice to sit and stay," he said. "But this one little tweak in the design made just that much of the difference for mice."
"

Murphy was an optimist.
Posted by: wagga

Re: Hantavirus In Yosemite May Be Shape Of Things To Come - 10/12/12 03:21 PM

This looks like the real end of this thread, and that's good.

Hantavirus calming at Yosemite.
Posted by: George

Re: 3000 To Be Tested For Hantavirus At Yosemite - 10/12/12 07:43 PM

Quote:
It's possible that no employees have contracted hantavirus because they have received training about the illness and take more precautions because they are more aware of the risks than park visitors, Buttke said. Employees also don't stay in visitor facilities overnight, she said.


That's an incredibly interesting question -- why haven't any employees/house cleaners shown symptoms?? I don't for a moment believe they're more careful as a result of training! Though, as a side note, when I open a mouse infested ranger station at the beginning of a season, I'll open the door and let it air out; then go in with a clorox/water spray bottle and a HEPA mask; then wipe up all the mouse crap with a wet towel. But I suspect I'm alone, even among rangers, though we've all had Hanta training (tenuous at best).

It'll be interesting to see what the results are in terms of antibodies developed.

g.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: 3000 To Be Tested For Hantavirus At Yosemite - 10/12/12 10:15 PM

I don't think the Hantavirus has been studied enough to have a test to determine whether people can build immunity to it. But I'd bet the Yosemite employees and also backcountry rangers get enough low exposure to it over a period of time that they develop an immunity.

On the other hand, a city-dweller who has never been in a Hanta-environment would have never been exposed, so would be way more susceptible.
Posted by: Ken

Re: 3000 To Be Tested For Hantavirus At Yosemite - 10/13/12 08:49 AM

Steve, there are a variety of testing techniques available to public health officials that are not available for commercial use. They definitely have the ability to test for antibodies indicating exposure.

George, are you out for the season?
Posted by: George

Re: 3000 To Be Tested For Hantavirus At Yosemite - 10/13/12 10:08 AM

Yep, I'm out.

A bunch of years ago, someone wanted to do blood tests of backcountry rangers for exposure to, I think, tick borne diseases (at least). Not sure if it included Hanta -- and maybe no test existed for it then anyway. The study was done, but it was too logistically difficult for us to participate. I never followed up to see what they found out. Would be interesting... .
Posted by: wagga

Bumping: Hantavirus At Yosemite - 05/03/13 05:57 PM

Bumping this topic, because the HantaTents are now open.

Actually, YOSE has done a good job of warning visitors, controlling deer mice, and the concessionaire has replaced the double-wall tents with single-wall.

Article from the LA Times is here.

"Warnings about hantavirus pulmonary syndrome now are printed in the park newspaper give(n) to visitors and in reservation confirmation letters for lodgings. It's causes and preventive measures also are posted on Yosemite's website and inside tent cabins and elsewhere in the park."

"This spring, people are coming to the park just like they did before, but now they're more informed," he said.
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Bumping: Hantavirus At Yosemite - 05/04/13 03:52 AM

Originally Posted By: wagga
Bumping this topic, because the HantaTents are now open.

Actually, YOSE has done a good job of warning visitors, controlling deer mice, and the concessionaire has replaced the double-wall tents with single-wall.

Article from the LA Times is here.

"Warnings about hantavirus pulmonary syndrome now are printed in the park newspaper give(n) to visitors and in reservation confirmation letters for lodgings. It's causes and preventive measures also are posted on Yosemite's website and inside tent cabins and elsewhere in the park."

"This spring, people are coming to the park just like they did before, but now they're more informed," he said.


So, what, that means now when you stay in Hanta Village you know not to breathe?
Posted by: SierraNevada

Re: Bumping: Hantavirus At Yosemite - 05/04/13 09:03 AM

Originally Posted By: saltydog

So, what, that means now when you stay in Hanta Village you know not to breathe?

Free rental for guest convenience, comes with the towel and blanket.

Posted by: wagga

Re: Bumping: Hantavirus At Yosemite - 05/05/13 08:33 PM

Woman sues Delaware North according to KABC-TV.



I've visited all the Channel Islands and also Havasupai, and they do specifically warn about the potential hazard.

Delaware North did not provide warnings, and also built structures that the HantaMice really liked.
Posted by: wagga

Fresno Woman Dies From Hantavirus - 05/31/13 05:59 PM

Hantavirus is a known but haphazard hazard, sorta like falling rocks, so I think this needs to be kept current.

Fresno woman dies from hantavirus.
Posted by: wagga

Re: Fresno Woman Dies From Hantavirus - 04/01/14 05:43 PM

Here is the definitive report from the JAMA.

Don't need to subscribe: the first page preview has all the facts, ma'am.