You are receiving this advisory because you have recently stayed in the High Sierra Camps at Yosemite National Park, and we want to inform you — and any members from your party — about a potential public health matter that has been brought to our attention.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has advised the National Park Service and DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, the park's concessioner who operates the High Sierra Camps, that a visitor who stayed in several of Yosemite's High Sierra Camps in July has contracted Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). HPS is a rare but serious disease that occurs throughout the United States that individuals may get through contact with the urine, droppings or saliva from infected rodents, primarily deer mice. The individual has recovered.
Although the CDPH has not identified the specific location inside or outside the park where the individual may have contracted the disease, and a definitive location may never be known, the CDPH has advised that the High Sierra Camps are the most likely source of the infection.
Early medical attention greatly increases the chance of recovery in cases of HPS. It is recommended that if a recent visitor to Yosemite National Park exhibits any symptoms associated with HPS that they seek medical attention immediately and advise their health care professional of the potential exposure to hantavirus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hantavirus symptoms generally begin one to five weeks after exposure. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, and muscle aches. About half of patients will experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and abdominal pain. The disease may progress rapidly (4-10 days after initial symptoms) to include coughing, shortness of breath and severe difficulty breathing. The types of hantavirus that cause HPS in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
Since HPS was first identified in 1993, there have been approximately 60 cases in California and 602 cases nationally. Nationwide, approximately 20 percent of mice carry Hantavirus.
The park has established a call center for all questions and concerns related to Hantavirus in Yosemite at (209) 372-0822. The phones are staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, Pacific time. In addition, the park website offers answers to frequently asked questions athttp://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hantafaq.htm. For additional information on Hantavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Hantavirus website athttp://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus.
The National Park Service continues to work closely with state and national public health officials to heighten public health awareness and detection of hantavirus. Please take the time to educate yourself of the risks and symptoms associated with hantavirus, and please seek the attention of a medical professional should you or any member of your party exhibit the symptoms described above.