State health officials believe a San Francisco man died after being exposed to Hantavirus while staying at Yosemite National Park. Officials say the man stayed in one of the tents at Curry Village in Yosemite two months ago and after his trip he developed symptoms of Hantavirus, a rare but often fatal lung disease.
It is believed the man contracted Hantavirus from inhaling particles of either deer mice urine or deer mice droppings. Mice at the park have tested positive for Hantavirus, which can cause fever, head and muscle aches, and eventually death.
The company tasked with maintaining facilities, such as the tents at Curry Village, is Delaware North. A spokesperson for the company says they are not to blame for the man coming in contact with Hantavirus and met cleanliness standards prescribed by the state and federal governments.
“The California Department of Public Health as well as the National Park Service did review the way we manage the property and they felt everything we do from a cleaning perspective to a maintenance perspective were all in good order," said Lisa Cesaro with Delaware North.
The tents at Curry Village are open today.
Yosemite officials say all 400 tents at Curry Village were checked after they learned a visitor contracted Hantavirus. But, they say they aren’t going to make drastic changes as a result of this recent death.
"We are putting signs up. It's a public health warning,” said Scott Gediman, a park spokesperson. “We're not doing anything differently with these cases, but putting signs up and reminding people to be careful."
According to the Mayo Clinic, about 30 percent of people who contract the North American version of Hantavirus, die.
It’s believed a second person, a 40-year-old woman from Southern California, also contracted Hantavirus after coming in contact with deer mice urine or excrement while staying at Curry Village. She, however, survived.
It is not believed that she stayed in the same tent as the man who died.