Thoughts on the Yosemite Hanta Virus Outbreak

Note: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV

2 dead from inhaling the virus contained in mouse droppings. CA Public Health and the Center for Disease Control are all over this problem. It could be a very big problem. It’s confirmed that 4 of the 6 victims (so far) stayed in the Signature Tent Cabins. There are 91 of these units. They are way nicer than the cheaper canvas tent cabins. The 2 types  look alike from the outside but the Signature ones have inner insulated walls. They also have a 110-volt power outlet (2 receptacles) to charge up your gizmos. The canvas ones only have one overhead light bulb. A furnace in each Signature unit provides heat on cold nights. I stayed in one in February, 2010 when we attempted to photograph the glow on Horsetail Fall (it was overcast).

The Signature cabins are separated from the canvas cabins by a one-way service road that runs out of the east end of the Curry Village parking lot. Maybe 30 y ards apart.  In the same complex are wood sided cabins and large shower/toilet buildings. The historic name for the area is “Boystown.”

Associated Press has been running a story about the situation and includes a file photo of the 400 series of canvas tent cabins. There is an implication that these are involved. Wrong. Although both varieties look alike from the outside, the current concern is the commonality of the Signature Tent Cabins.

Simple math shows that with a 1-6 week incubation period, and 91 tent cabins that can hold up to four people, from June to mid-August, (say, 75 days), then the maximum exposure is about  27,300 people (do the math). In reality, many may come with only 2 people and the park is saying the max exposure is 10,000. But still –  Yikes.

The latest medical perspective says that sweeping the rooms may aggravate the spread of the virus by making it more accessible to breathing. Viruses are very, very small. Wet washing with a chlorine solution and vacuuming may be best. The park has increased its vigilance.  If you have been in Curry’s Signature Tent Cabins the park probably has notified you.If not, be alert for “flu-like” symptoms  (even if you were in Canvas tent cabins, for that matter), and get to a doctor ASAP. You may be put on oxygen and your body will get time for your immune system to fight the virus. I have stayed in the 700 series canvas tent cabins 3 times this summer and will be there Sep 14. I plan to be very cautious.

FYI – For your planning, the next FREE day at Yosemite is September 29 National Public Lands Day

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Here I come to save the day!” That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way.” – 1960’s TV  cartoon 

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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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