Yosemite National Park is warning recent visitors about an outbreak of hantavirus that has already killed two people.
Federal epidemiologists learned over the weekend of the fatality. That case and another brings to four the number of people who have contracted Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which can be carried by dust particles that come into contact with the urine, saliva or feces of an infected deer mouse. …
In each of the four cases, visitors stayed in the Curry Village “Signature Tent Cabins,” canvas-sided lodging insulated against the elements. The four people known so far to have contracted the illness stayed around the same time in June.
Yosemite officials are warning those who stayed in the village’s tent cabins from mid-June through the end of August to beware of any symptoms of hantavirus, which can include fever, aches, dizziness and chills. Park officials warn anyone with these flu-like symptoms to seek medical help immediately. There is no specific treatment for the respiratory illness.
A study released in 2011 suggested that a die-off of aspens in the Western U.S. following the 2002 drought was linked to hanta-carrying deer mice.
The spread of hantavirus among mice in the wake of the aspen die-offs should already be considered an “unintended consequence of climate change,” Dr. [Erin] Lehmer said. …
“The bottom line is that climate change is tending to introduce diseases where they haven’t been before, because it’s changing the entire dynamics of plant and animal ecosystems,” she said.
Meanwhile, at a Tube stop in London:
WARNING: DO NOT GO TO FARRINGDON STATION. twitpic.com/aoec96
— Ronnie Joice (@ronniejoice) August 27, 2012
As prophesied many centuries ago, the time of the mouse uprising has begun.
2nd Yosemite visitor dies of rodent-borne illness, Associated Press.
Spread of Deadly Virus Tied to Forest Decline, The New York Times.