NPS Warn 230,000 Yosemite Visitors of Potential Exposure to the Hantavirus
By September 4, 2012 NPS had reported eight cases of Hantavirus linked to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) contracted during stays at Yosemite National Park. CBS News is reporting that NPS has extended the warning to 230,000 overnight guests to the Park since June. The warning is probably far in excess of the potential exposure. But since the virus kills up to one third of victims who are infected, NPS is probably proceeding with an abundance of caution. The incubation period is up to six weeks, so the CDC officials fears more infections will emerge. While there is no cure, early detection can reduce mortality. Hantavirus is not typically spread from person to person.
HPS is the deadliest complication of Hantavirus infection and is contracted from exposure to deer mice, rodent urine or their feces. The outbreak is not likely to result in a new round of protocols for outfitters to protect visitors from the virus in the backcountry (at least not yet) except in those unique structures in Parks which are not easily separated from the critter environment. Three deaths have been attributed to HPS exposure in Yosemite thus far. NPS has begun trapping and killing the deer mice, whose population reached inordinately high levels. Delaware North Corporation, which operates the lodging and dining facilities in the Park reports a 20% drop in visitation since Labor Day weekend.
18 Questions, 5 Minutes and a Window into Industry Trends for 2012
Fill out the end of the year outcome survey and get immediate results. Each year AOA conducts a survey of members’ performance for the year and compares the year’s results to last year’s. So, take five minutes to complete the survey. You’ll see the results immediately and then the final results will be published in the Fall newsletter.