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01 October 2012 08:54
A mouse-borne virus has struck several visitors at Yosemite National Park
Scientists are investigating after a rare mouse-borne virus infected several visitors to a national park in the US. At least nine people have been struck by hantavirus since June at Yosemite National Park in California. Experts say it is the biggest cluster of cases since the disease was first identified in the US in 1993.
While the case highlights the importance of taking out a comprehensive
medical travel insurance policy to provide cover in the event of unexpected health problems, public health officials have now launched a number of studies to establish how the virus is passed on. They want to find out why some people are more likely to be affected than others, and are conducting studies of both humans and mice to find clues. Researchers will also take blood samples from some of the 2,500-plus employees at the park.
Infectious disease specialist Dr Charles Chiu, from the University of California, has begun performing whole-genome sequencing of the virus, using tissue samples taken from affected patients and rodents carrying the virus. Researchers want to find out whether the virus is the same as the strain first identified in 1993, when hantavirus pulmonary syndrome struck 18 people in southwestern states. The researchers hope that their results will provide answers about how the virus infects people and how it might be prevented in the future.
28 April 2017
Holidaymakers will be able to jet off to eight new destinations from Belfast next summer, following the expansion of a budget airline.
27 April 2017
The port city of Liverpool is to be the starting point of the biggest round the world ocean race.
26 April 2017
Nearly three-quarters of patients diagnosed with cancer in A&E had previously seen their GP with related symptoms, according to research.
25 April 2017
Researchers recently suggested cycling could reduce the risk of cancer - and now a campaign has launched urging people to get on two wheels.
22 April 2017
The flag for Britain will be flown on a global scale at the forthcoming Clipper Round the World Race.
21 April 2017
Want to lower your risk of suffering cancer or heart disease? Then get on your bike.
20 April 2017
Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the way in which breast cancer grows and spreads.
19 April 2017
Budget airline easyJet has apologised over an incident in which two passengers were ordered to leave an overbooked flight.
14 April 2017
Holidays have topped the priority lists of people approaching retirement, with close to two thirds (64%) aiming to go on more trips once they leave the world of work behind.
13 April 2017
A major bank has outlined plans to become more "dementia-friendly".
12 April 2017
Restrictions should be put in place to curb the drinking of alcohol before early-morning flights, a House of Lords committee has suggested.
11 April 2017
Drivers heading to airports and ferry ports this bank holiday weekend have been told to expect heavy traffic.