A third person has died of a rare rodent-borne illness after visiting Yosemite National Park, public health officials confirmed Thursday.
The latest fatality brings the number of Yosemite visitors sickened with hantavirus to eight, all of whom stayed in the park this summer. Seven of the eight cases were people who stayed in the “Signature Tent Cabins” in Curry Village, a popular family campground.
The California Department of Public Health advised Yosemite that one of the eight hantavirus patients was most likely infected in one of the park’s High Sierra Camps, accessible only by foot or horseback and in a different area than Curry Village.
The patient infected in a High Sierra Camp is recovering, according to a Yosemite National Park release.
The first fatality was a 36-year-old man from Alameda County who died on July 31. He stayed in a Curry Village signature cabin between June 10 and 13 and became ill at the end of July.
Symptoms of hantavirus don’t typically appear until six to eight weeks after exposure to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The second fatality was a 45-year-old man from Pennsylvania who died on Aug. 12. The third person to die of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome lived in Kanawha County in West Virginia, as confirmed by the county’s public health department.
More information about the patient was not available Thursday afternoon.
Yosemite National Park and the Delaware North Company, the concessionaire in charge of Curry Village, have attempted to contact more than 3,000 people who stayed in the Signature Cabins between June 10 and the end of August.
It has also set up a non-emergency, staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, for questions and concerns related to hantavirus in the park. Visitors with questions may call 372-0822.