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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.
18 February 2017
At least 10 Britons have been injured in a speedboat accident off the icy coast of Norway.
17 February 2017
Comedian David Baddiel is trying to highlight the "epidemic" of dementia as a killer of older people in a new documentary.
16 February 2017
The public has spoken and the world's favourite cruises are being honoured by a top cruise review site.
15 February 2017
The collaborative #SkiSafe campaign has been relaunched in a bid to raise safety awareness among winter sports enthusiasts.
14 February 2017
A new "age defying" hormone could offer a breakthrough in preventing kidney and heart disease in people who suffer from diabetes.
11 February 2017
Patients needing new life-saving medication could have to wait two years after the UK leaves the EU, experts are warning.
10 February 2017
Families looking to take a cheap break in the upcoming half term are often sorely disappointed, however new research suggests Cyprus is the best destination for a well-priced trip.
09 February 2017
Europe remains the world's number one region as a travel destination - but tourism growth is slowing down, a travel industry report has said.
08 February 2017
A terminal cancer patient is determined to fulfil his dream of climbing Mount Everest, despite having just months to live.
07 February 2017
One third of holidaying families will opt for a British break this year, new research suggests.
04 February 2017
The benefits of treating back pain with medication could be outweighed by the longer-term side effects, a study suggests.
03 February 2017
Better connectivity in the north of England would see millions more air passengers pass through the region, an independent commission has found.