Third Person Dies From Hanta Virus at Yosemite

News is out today that a West Virginia man has died of the rodent borne hantavirus. He visited the park in July. Indications are that he stayed at the High Sierra Camps and not the insulated Signature Tent Cabins in Curry Village as other victims have. This is really bad news as the nexus of possible victims may have grown to this new area of deer mouse activity. There are five High Sierra Camps: Vogelsang, Glen Aulin, May Lake, Merced Lake and Sunrise. They are accessible usually from the Tuolumne Meadows area. Each is comprised of Canvas Tent Cabins with 4 beds and a log heater. They can accomodate about 40 people per day.

merced lake high sierra camp

It’s not yet known if the West Virginia man was alone or what his itinerary was. The NPS original outreach to 10,000 visitors has now been expanded to another 12,000 possible victims. All are advised to seek medical attention if they experience “flu-like” symptoms. The incubation period is up to 6-weeks. Most victims were Signature Tent cabin guests. A previous blog hinted at a universe of maybe 27,000 who could have slept in the Signature Tent Cabins in June through August. I have stayed in the 700 series canvas cabins in June, July and August and have not been notified. Whew. Of course, I’m monitoring my body for “flu-like” symptoms. I plan to stay in Curry next weekend for a Half Dome hike.

In addition to this recent death, the total victim count has risen to eight. The Atlanta Based CDC and the California Public Health Department are involved.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found.” – John Muir

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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5 Responses to Third Person Dies From Hanta Virus at Yosemite

  1. Maureen L says:

    The mice have been infected for a number of years; there was a case of HPS in Tuolumne Meadows area in 2010 and 2000.

  2. Maureen L says:

    I received two emails from DNC, Thursday the 6th and Friday the 7th and an automated phone call on Friday.

    I think the phone message did include Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, which makes sense, as it’s a popular place to stay the night before heading to one or more of the High Sierra and the night hiking out. (I camped at Tuolumne Meadows the night before and stayed at White Wolf coming out.)

    If you do have flu symptoms, it’s really important to let your health care folks know, as no one routinely tests for hantavirus. (There are tests!)

    No one knows what percent of those who get flu symptoms also develop the full HPS.

    If it’s hantavirus and you’re going to get the pulmonary syndrome, you’ll get worse rapidly. Best guestimate is 4 to 10 days to develop HPS from start of flu symptoms, but don’t delay!

    • Keep an eye out, my friend.

      I got an email rorm DNC also…but it was for my trip up this weekend. I had reserved a Curry canvas tent cabin, but the email apologized for them having to move me from “a signature tent cabin” to a regular one. HUH? I can imagine they are so overwhelmed now that it’s a high speed merry-go-round up there. I may try to take pix of the situation – or will just stay clear.

      A brathing mask won’t help much – they only go down to 1 micron. The virus can be as smallas .07 micrrns and scoot right thru.

  3. Kathy says:

    wow – the High Sierra Camps plus Tuolumne Meadow, that adds a whole lot of territory of potentially infected mice 🙁

    • They do not know which High Sierra Camp or Camps the person stayed at yet. No implication that Tuolumne Lodge / Meadows area was involved. I pointed it out to orient people as to the High Sierra Camp big picture. I have 2 friends who did the High Sierra Camps this summer. Watching it closely for info.

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