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Rare Hantavirus outbreak at Yosemite Park kills one man

Shout out to CBS News
  • This photograph depicts a Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus), whose habitat includes the southeastern United States, and way down into Central and South America. Its body is larger than the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, and measures about 13-18 cm, which includes the head and body; the tail measures an additional 7-10 cm. Its hair is longer and coarser than P. maniculatus, and is a grayish-brown color, sometimes grayish-black. The cotton rat prefers overgrown areas with shrubs and tall grasses.

    This photograph depicts a Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus), whose habitat includes the southeastern United States, and way down into Central and South America. Its body is larger than the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, and measures about 13-18 cm, which includes the head and body; the tail measures an additional 7-10 cm. Its hair is longer and coarser than P. maniculatus, and is a grayish-brown color, sometimes grayish-black. The cotton rat prefers overgrown areas with shrubs and tall grasses.

    Yikes, this doesn’t look good for vacationers in Yosemite Park out west. It might be time to start packing up your camping gear and getting the hell out.

    Officials said a man contracted a rare rodent born disesease called hantavirus after he was exposed to the rodent’s droppings, possibly from sleeping on his pillow.

    The man and his wife were staying in a cabin in the park. She survived and is recovering.

    The man is the first to die of hantavirus in Yosemite Park, a disease transmitted by deer mice from their urine and feces.

    It takes one to six weeks for the virus to incubate in your system and it kills 30% of those who contract it.

    According to the CDC, there are four North American rodents that carry hantavirus: the deer mouse, cotton rat, rice rat, and white-footed mouse.

    Symptoms include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, followed by coughing, shortness of breath, and the lungs filling with fluid.

    Officials are cleaning and disinfecting cabins and trapping and testing mice.

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