Basics about hantavirus outbreak in Yosemite

Topics: From the Wires,

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Answers to common questions about mice and the hantavirus linked to death of 2 people who visited Yosemite National Park:

___

How common is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?

Up to 20 percent of all deer mice carry the virus, though levels can be higher. The illness is rare. Through 2011, there have been 587 documented cases since the illness was first identified in 1993.

___

How is it spread?

The most prolific carrier is the deer mouse, which prefers woodlands and high elevations, and can be found in desert areas. The virus in the saliva, feces and urine of infected mice is spread to humans who inhale airborne dust and aerosol particles. Symptoms develop in one to six weeks.

___

How do you tell a deer mouse from other mice?

House mice have solid colors, but deer mice range from gray to reddish brown, with white on their underbellies and sides of their tails.

___

Who is most susceptible?

Unlike the West Nile Virus, which is particularly hard on the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, there is no standard risk factor for humans when it comes to the hantavirus. Among the known cases, 63 percent have been men and 37 percent women. The range of ages was 6 to 83.

___

Can I catch it from someone who is sick?

Probably not. There have been no documented cases of hantavirus being spread by human to human contact.

___

What is the mortality rate?

More than 36 percent of people stricken with hantavirus have died from it. In 2011, half of the 24 people who got it died.

___

What are the signs?

It begins with chills, fever and muscle aches then progresses into a dry cough, headache, nausea and vomiting, then shortness of breath. People with hantavirus are put in intensive care, placed on oxygen and given medicine to prevent kidney failure.

___

How can I avoid exposure?



Open buildings that have been closed for a period of time and let them air out for 30 minutes. Spray mouse droppings with a water and bleach mixture, wait 15 minutes and mop up or wipe with paper towels.

___

Will I get it if I go to Yosemite National Park?

The chances are slim. More than 4 million people visit the park each year. Since 2000 there have been six suspected and confirmed cases.

___

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Park Service.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

    A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie

    Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

    A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Black Silk" by Judith Ivory

    A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale

    A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

    A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ...   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen

    Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal

    A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

    Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time.   Read the whole essay.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>