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Yosemite visitors warned over virus

30 August 2012 09:19

Yosemite National Park is one of America's top tourist attractions

Yosemite National Park is one of America's top tourist attractions

Holidaymakers who've stayed in tent cabins at Yosemite National Park have been warned to look out for symptoms of hantavirus, a rare rodent-borne disease. Visitors may have been exposed while staying in the cabins at Curry Village since mid-June, highlighting the importance of having good medical travel insurance.

They are being warned to beware of symptoms including fever, dizziness, aches and chills which, according to federal health officials, can develop up to five weeks after exposure to the urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents. Since the virus, for which there is no specific treatment, was identified in 1993 a third of the 587 documented cases in the US have proved fatal.

The cabins are now being altered to protect visitors to the park, which is one of America's top tourist attractions, by trying to stop mice getting inside. A spokesman said: "This was never because the cabins were dirty, it was never because we didn't take care of them. This is just because approximately 20% of all deer mice are infected with hantavirus. And they're here in Yosemite Valley."