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.
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 – www.HikeHalfDome.com