Yosemite Park Hantavirus Virus Outbreak
Approximately 10,000 tourists visited Yosemite National Park this summer, and all of those tourists may be at risk for Hantavirus exposure. An additional 12,000 people stayed in surrounding camps, and may have been exposed as well. As a result of the dangers, anyone who visited Yosemite should be tested for Hantavirus as soon as possible.
Hantavirus is a debilitating rodent-borne disease with flu-like symptoms, which can be fatal under certain circumstances. The condition is specifically found in deer mice, which are only distantly related to common household mice. According to the CDC, humans contract Hantavirus as a result of exposure to the rodents’ urine and droppings.
Deer mice had apparently populated High Sierra, Curry Village and other Yosemite camps for quite some time, and visitors were known to have become sick with Hantavirus. Nevertheless, park employees allowed visitors to continue using these camps, without providing any sort of notification, and without taking steps to remedy the deer mouse problem.
Finally, on August 25th, Yosemite Park sent nearly 3,000 letters to individuals and families who had stayed in Curry Village cabins, warning of the outbreak. The CDC reported that more than 10,000 people were exposed to deer mice over the course of the summer.
As of September 12, 2012, a total of eight people are known to have contracted Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome between the months of June and August. Of those eight individuals, seven stayed in a cabin in Curry Village. So far, three of the victims have died.
As more information comes to light, it becomes increasingly evident that Yosemite Park employees and private concession camp employees may have been aware of the infestation as far back as 2010, but failed to adequately disclose the information or warn park visitors about the potential harm.
Unfortunately, more victims may still come to light. The virus can exist in someone’s system for up to 6 weeks before any symptoms become apparent. In addition to the aforementioned flu-like symptoms, other symptoms include:
• Coughing, breathing problems, back pain and muscle aches
• Nausea and abdominal pain
• Fever and chills
Ultimately, the disease can advance to hemorrhagic fever, renal failure, kidney failure, and even death. Victims may also fall pretty to pulmonary syndromes, which can lead to cardiovascular shock.
When it comes to prevention, the CDC recommends minimizing your contact with rodents in the home, workplace and campsite. If you notice rodent droppings, contact an exterminator at once, and remove yourself from the contaminated environment. You never know what those little animals might be carrying.
Nadrich & Cohen is actively reviewing claims and investigating all background information pertaining to the outbreak, in order to determine grounds for a financial recovery lawsuit for Hantavirus victims. If you or someone you love visited Yosemite Park and have experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms, please seek medical attention at once. If you do have the virus in your system, contact our California personal injury law firm. You may be eligible for monetary compensation. Call us at 1-800-718-4658 for a free, confidential evaluation.