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10,000 Yosemite tourists could face deadly virus

Published on Sep 1, 2012 11:11 AM
 
In this undated handout from the Centers for Disease Control image library, this transmission electron micrograph (TEM) reveals the ultrastructural appearance of a number of virus particles, or “virions”, of a hantavirus known as the Sin Nombre virus (SNV). A disease caused by the virus was named hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, or HPS. Some 10,000 visitors to California's Yosemite National Park could have been exposed to a deadly virus that kills one in three victims and cannot be treated, officials said on Friday.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Some 10,000 visitors to California's Yosemite National Park could have been exposed to a deadly virus that kills one in three victims and cannot be treated, officials said on Friday.

So far, six cases of the rare hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) have been confirmed - two of whom have died - while a "multiple" number of other suspected cases of the rodent-borne disease are being investigated.

Yosemite authorities closed down the "Signature Tent Cabins" earlier this week at Curry Village, a popular lodging area in Yosemite Valley, the tourist centre of the scenic park visited by millions of people every year.

The National Park Service (NPS) has written to some 2,900 people who booked stays in the Boystown area tent lodgings between June 10 and Aug 24, alerting them to keep an eye out for symptoms of HPS.

 
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