Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yosemite National Park Outbreak: Brits Warned Over Deadly Rodent Virus

UK health officials are contacting around 100 Britons they believe could have been exposed to a deadly rodent virus while on holiday in the US this summer.

Six visitors to California's Yosemite National Park have so far been infected with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a disease caused by breathing in infected rodent dropping or urine particles.

Hantavirus has a mortality rate of around 38%. Of the six confirmed cases, two men have died.

It is not known whether any of those affected have been British citizens.

In a statement, the UK’s Health Protection Authority (HPA) said: "Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a rare but severe respiratory disease, which is sometimes fatal.

"It is spread by contact with infected rodents, primarily deer mice."

"The virus causing HPS in the US cannot be passed from person to person.

"There is no specific treatment for Hantavirus, but early recognition and supportive care can improve the outcome of this severe disease," the statement added. Read More