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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.
20 January 2017
Winter sports enthusiasts are being urged to check they have the right insurance after new research shows only 1 in 6 people are covered under their standard travel insurance policy.
19 January 2017
Nearly 1,000 people have had their holidays in Gambia cut short amid growing political unrest in the African state.
18 January 2017
Researchers at Cambridge University may have made a breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, according to preliminary findings.
17 January 2017
Stansted Airport has made a bid to become Britain's next hub for long-haul travel, as passengers are promised seamless connection facilities and baggage transfer.
13 January 2017
Long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new places have come above healthy eating and changing jobs in a list of the top New Year's resolutions.
14 January 2017
Some of the biggest airports in the UK have been forced to cancel flights as snow and blizzard conditions sweep parts of the country.
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24 December 2016
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
11 January 2017
A connection between diabetes and inflection in children could be a major breakthrough in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
10 January 2017
A new trial aimed at tackling widespread loneliness among older people is successfully reducing isolation using community-based tactics, a report shows.
07 January 2017
People may be able to enjoy better brain health in later life by following a Mediterranean diet, research has suggested.
06 January 2017
Many Britons plan to cut down on the costs of their holidays in 2017, as part of their financial resolutions for the New Year.