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Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?

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Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 08:14PM
We have a 4-day trip to YNP planned for 10/6-10/9 -- as for many of us, this took a lot of coordination and planning among many people to get together, and we were fortunate enough to get the permits we needed. And now this whole Hantavirus thing is happening.

Stay the course, or cancel trip?

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 08:17PM
Where are you staying? The problem seems to be isolated to the signature tent cabins in Curry Village where the mice have made homes inside the double walls.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 10:04PM
As long as you're not staying in any of the tent cabins inside Yosemite, you shouldn't worry at all about heading over to Yosemite.

Of course, if you want to be extra careful, just avoid visiting Curry Village during your visit.

Now, if you're staying at Curry Village in a canvas tent cabin, then I could understand your valid concerns, but otherwise I wouldn't really worry too much about it.

.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 10:08PM
It's my understanding that the signature tent cabins have been closed for the time being.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 11:48PM
Don't think for a minute that the infected mice aren't trampling in and out of the other tents cabins too. The people who got infected in Tuolumne Meadows stayed in tent cabins similar to the standard ones at Curry (except for how they're heated).

That said, the Signature Tent Cabins design probably made exposure to the mice feces and urine worse, but still...

.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 10:37PM
While we have not stayed in Curry we have spent time in Curry 4 times this summer and we are all OK. During the Olympics we watched TV for several hours one night in the Curry bar. I have friends with plans for next week and they are still going.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 11, 2012 11:54PM
I've stayed at Curry in May (cabin with bath), and have visited Curry a number of times through the summer including last Sunday (meeting some friends at the Curry Village Lounge). Personally, I'm not too worry about catching the hantavirus while visiting Curry Village during the day, but I would have second thoughts about staying in any of their canvas tent cabins overnight.

.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 07:28AM
Quote
plawrence
I've stayed at Curry in May (cabin with bath), and have visited Curry a number of times through the summer including last Sunday (meeting some friends at the Curry Village Lounge). Personally, I'm not too worry about catching the hantavirus while visiting Curry Village during the day, but I would have second thoughts about staying in any of their canvas tent cabins overnight.

.

And you didn't take any pictures of Half Dome?



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 10:29AM
Did I say that I didn't? wink
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 09:08PM
Quote
plawrence
Did I say that I didn't? wink

Of course I am giving you a hard time.
But... if you want me to show pictures... then you should show pictures.

I think the underlying reason why I asked this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,53036
Was lost on most.

Anyway, Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 09:18PM
I try to post photos that I think people would be interested in, not the same old, same old, like last weekend when I was testing out a new P&S camera and just serving as a guide for my friends to the usual tourist spots like Glacier Point.

How many photos of Half Dome from Glacier Point do you want me to post?

On the other hand, you travel to far more unique, less visited locations in and around Yosemite. Locations most of us have never been to, let alone photographed.

(What I'm trying to say is that I think your photos of the Yosemite region, generally speaking, are more interesting than mine.)

.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 14, 2012 11:33AM
Quote
plawrence

(What I'm trying to say is that I think your photos of the Yosemite region, generally speaking, are more interesting than mine.)

.

Plus some of his pictures have a pink chicken in them.smiling smiley
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 14, 2012 05:15PM
That pink chicken sure gets around.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 07:06AM
I stayed in a tent cabin in Dec 2010. It was a heated one, but not a signature one, unless they are one in the same?
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 10:43AM
Some of the regular tent cabins that have heaters in them. The signature cabins had drywall and insulation added to the canvas area of a tent cabin. If the interior walls were solid then you were in a signature cabin. If the interior walls were the same canvas as the outside then it is a regular tent cabin.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 08:25AM
I think there is quite a bit of over-reaction to this issue. As stated in all the reports, the main source of the outbreak has been closed to the public and only a tiny percentage of guests who stayed at ground zero became infected. I stayed at the HSC's where one of the infections occurred also, and I'm fine!

That being said, there is and will always be deer mice in Yosemite that have the capability of causing a Hantavirus infection. The risk of infection is not 0, but it is nowhere near the level that needs to cause anyone great concern

Go about your lives, enjoy Yosemite to the fullest, and don't give it another thought!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 10:45AM
While I agree there's been a bit of overreaction to the hantavirus outbreak (people who aren't staying a Curry Village shouldn't be canceling their trips to Yosemite, IMHO), I think some level of concern is very justified.

First, the outbreak of hantavirus at Curry Village brings to light to the general public how infested with mice and other rodents the lodging at Curry Village is. Rodents that are vectors to other diseases besides hantavirus.

Also, while getting infected with hantavirus is rare, it's a very deadly disease with over a 1/3 of those coming down with the illness dying. It's sort of like having a sniper lurking around Curry Village's tent cabins picking off a victim here and there throughout the summer.

But the big picture is that most people wouldn't put up with staying at any lodging establishment, especially paying over $100 for a crappy tent cabin, where the rooms are infested with mice and other rodents. Hopefully, one outcome of this outbreak is that the Park Service and DNC will do more to limit (since eliminating completely is, practically speaking, impossible) the amount of rodent infestation inside the Curry Village cabins.

(Note that the Park Service and DNC has done a fine job in eliminating any sort of rodent infestation inside Curry Villages food service areas, which is required by state health codes. They could do a better job in regards to the cabins too.)

.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 10:56AM
Go and have a good time.

I did some looking at the internet this morning. Nationwide approx. 12% of deer mice carry the virus and in some western states it goes up to 14%. Currently 18% of the ones in Yosemite are infected. They still are not sure why there was such a big outbreak in Yosemite and are looking into the cause.

In 1993, the first outbreak in the U.S. accured in the four corners area of the southwest. Research had show that in "early 1993, heavy snows and rainfall helped drought-stricken plants and animals to revive and grow in larger-than-usual numbers. The area's deer mice had plenty to eat, and as a result they reproduced so rapidly that there were ten times more mice in May 1993 than there had been in May of 1992. With so many mice, it was more likely that mice and humans would come into contact with one another, and thus more likely that the hantavirus carried by the mice would be transmitted to humans." ( Source: Tracking a Mystery Disease: The Detailed Story of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS))

Maybe there is an increase in the amount of deer mice in Yosemite Valley that has been cause by the weather the past two years and with more mice more people have been exposed than would be expected.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2012 10:57AM by parklover.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 11:12AM
I just saw this:



'Perfect storm' Three times as many deer mice in the park's Tuolumne Meadows last week than were caught in a 2008 period

By Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO - Yosemite National Park has begun trapping and killing deer mice whose growing numbers may have helped create the conditions that led to a hantavirus outbreak that has infected eight park visitors, killing three, public health officials said Tuesday.
Yosemite officials in recent weeks have warned 22,000 people who stayed in the park in California over the summer that they may have been exposed to the rodent-borne lung disease, which kills over a third of those infected.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also sounded a worldwide alert, saying visitors to the park's popular Curry Village lodging area between June and August may be at risk. Park officials have closed nearly 100 tent cabins in Curry Village infested with deer mice, which carry the virus

Edit: please don't post entire articles in violation of copyright



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2012 07:24AM by eeek.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 11:24AM
Well, our tentative itinerary is:

10/6 night - stay at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls -- a few miles away from Curry Village I believe
10/7 - hike Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, camp there overnight
10/8 - summit Half Dome, return via Mist Trail to Valley floor
10/8 night - stay at Yosemite View Lodge -- just outside the park, like 20 miles from Curry Village

I have been to Curry Village in the past, to eat and hang out, it is nice and we woulda liked to go there again, but given the circumstances we could avoid it altogether no big deal.

So it seems like the majority opinion is that we should go forward with our plans? That is what I am leaning toward but some others in my group are still worried
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 11:50AM
With that itinerary, I wouldn't worry at all about contracting hantavirus. So it should be a solid "GO".

(Just be sure to be careful around the bearproof food lockers at the Little Yosemite Valley campground. A backpacker was bitten by a rattlesnake when he placed his hand near the ground of one of those lockers this summer: Rattlesnake Bite in Little Yosemite Valley)

Have a great trip!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2012 12:53PM by plawrence.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 04:08PM
GO GO GO
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 04:23PM
Go. It is like the summer of sharks a few years ago.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 12:10PM
Sigh.

Go.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 01:06PM
I am also for a big GO.

You have more chances of getting into a car accident 10 miles from your home, falling in the bathtub and a numerous amount of other things than catching the virus especiallly since you are not staying at Curry, I would also not be that concerned about going to Curry to get something to eat or go to the bar. If the people in your group are concerned than stay away from Curry. LIfe is too short to worry about things that most likely will not happen.

Have a great time and post how your trip went.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 09, 2012 10:34PM
What is the latest update on the virus? Scored a good deal on a tent cabin in January. What precautions are required now? Same as back in the summer? Forever?
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 08:03AM
The tent cabins that were the problem are either gone or not being used. There should be no more problem in the Curry tent cabins than anywhere else in the park. If you're worried; using hand sanitizer a lot would be a good precaution.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 08:19AM
Quote
Dave
The tent cabins that were the problem are either gone or not being used. There should be no more problem in the Curry tent cabins than anywhere else in the park. If you're worried; using hand sanitizer a lot would be a good precaution.

...... Isn't this the virus that's airborne?
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 09:19AM
It's my understanding you have to come into contact with an infected mouse, or it's excrement, to get the disease. I suppose fecal matter can become dust and therefore airborne, but other than that I don't think it's spread by airborne. I'm not a doctor (but I did spend last night at the Holiday Inn Express) so don't take my word as gospel.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 09:39AM
Quote
The Other Tom
It's my understanding you have to come into contact with an infected mouse, or it's excrement, to get the disease. I suppose fecal matter can become dust and therefore airborne, but other than that I don't think it's spread by airborne. I'm not a doctor (but I did spend last night at the Holiday Inn Express) so don't take my word as gospel.

Found a little more info on the airborne aspect of it:

http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/technical/hanta/airborne-transmission.html
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 05:32PM
Yes, as that link states contracting Hantavirus via breathing it in is a common way for one to get infected with the virus.
.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 10:09AM
There has not been any more reported cases in months. Yes it can be airborne. When you go through the gate with the newspaper you will get a brochure on the virus so I would just follow those guidelines. Remember, there are infected mice in almost all of the states, maybe even near where you live, so follow the precautions, don't worry about it and have a good time.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 10, 2012 10:44PM
I wonder if freezing temperatures cause it to diminish.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 11, 2012 08:19AM
Quote
Paris92
I wonder if freezing temperatures cause it to diminish.
It might tonight. They're expecting 3+ inches of snow on the valley floor.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 11, 2012 08:23AM
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 11, 2012 09:55AM
Quote
mtn man
Quote
Paris92
I wonder if freezing temperatures cause it to diminish.

Note #25:

http://www.capitalhealth.ca/nr/rdonlyres/eadfrvwshjsrijkjghmls3zghxc2hxzkjube26dzceggyyuobvmhq6iqinaacbcfnykboyjxui3jjsf5bqurd2xsf4g/hantavirusfactsheet.pdf
Also, I would think the cold weather would drive the mice inside.....
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 11, 2012 10:10AM
Deer mice are everywhere in Yosemite and they're still active in winter. (They don't hibernate.)

But it's still very rare to catch Hantavirus in Yosemite, so unless one spots mice activity in their tent cabin (or other type of lodging at Yosemite), I wouldn't worry too much about it.

At Curry in January, I would be far, far more worried about slipping on black ice along its paths and breaking my neck or skull. Too many times I've visited Curry Village in the winter to find its walking paths all iced up, sometimes with hard to see black ice, making them extremely slick and slippery. Just be sure to bring appropriate footwear that can handle the very icy conditions one is sure to find at Curry Village in January.

There's a reason why Curry Village in the winter is often referred to as Yosemite's Siberia. It gets very little sun and as a result it's extremely cold and icy through the winter months.

.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 11, 2012 07:10PM
Agree.

Quote
plawrence
Deer mice are everywhere in Yosemite and they're still active in winter. (They don't hibernate.)

But it's still very rare to catch Hantavirus in Yosemite, so unless one spots mice activity in their tent cabin (or other type of lodging at Yosemite), I wouldn't worry too much about it.

At Curry in January, I would be far, far more worried about slipping on black ice along its paths and breaking my neck or skull. Too many times I've visited Curry Village in the winter to find its walking paths all iced up, sometimes with hard to see black ice, making them extremely slick and slippery. Just be sure to bring appropriate footwear that can handle the very icy conditions one is sure to find at Curry Village in January.

There's a reason why Curry Village in the winter is often referred to as Yosemite's Siberia. It gets very little sun and as a result it's extremely cold and icy through the winter months.

.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
December 11, 2012 07:09PM
Interesting... Thanks.

Quote
mtn man
Quote
Paris92
I wonder if freezing temperatures cause it to diminish.

Note #25:

http://www.capitalhealth.ca/nr/rdonlyres/eadfrvwshjsrijkjghmls3zghxc2hxzkjube26dzceggyyuobvmhq6iqinaacbcfnykboyjxui3jjsf5bqurd2xsf4g/hantavirusfactsheet.pdf
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 09:11PM
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 12, 2012 09:26PM
Even if i was staying in a curry tent Id go. Just get a permit and hike the whole time.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 11:00AM
Thanks for the great advice, my personal fears are allayed. But some in my party are still worried, so we're no longer going to camp at LYV; instead we're going to be staying at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls each night, and doing Half Dome as a day hike. The Hantavirus hotline person we spoke to said our risk was basically zero if we did that.

Will definitely post how the trip goes. (Hopefully everyone in our party can make it as a day hike -- that was one of my original concerns and the main reason I had initially planned on splitting it up by camping at LYV.)

Thanks!
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 01:18PM
You'll be fine as long as you don't tell your friends that deer mice live outside the Park too. A certain percentage of all deer mice are infected and that would go for those living in the area of the hotel you mentioned. Unless you live in the Deep South 12% of the deer mice where you live are also infected. Oh, don't forget that other carriers probably take care of those states. Consider that these mice live in about 90% of the continental US and Canada and there have been only 600 cases of HPS since it's discovery, you're chances of getting it anyway are pretty slim.

You'll be in more danger from being hit by lightening on Half Dome than from the mice.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2012 01:19PM by Dave.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 01:52PM
Dave is right, there are infected mice almost everywhere in the US, maybe even in your own backyard. While staying at the lodge might be miniscully safer just because you are not sleeping low to the ground as you do when you camp, the risks are not that much different than if you stayed in LYV. By that I mean that there is an extremely rare chance, that no matter where you stay, that you will catch the virus.

I would be more concerned that by not staying in LYV, you are running a higher risk that someone is going to get hurt trying to get to the top of Halfdome when they are tired. Or, you could have a bunch of disappointed people that decided to turn around and not risk getting hurt. If it was me, I would stay in LYV.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 02:21PM
Yes, deer mice are everywhere, but that's not the issue. The issue is about staying overnight in lodging that's infested with deer mice.

One reason why HPS is rare in the United States is that the vast majority of people in the United States don't sleep in dwellings that are infested with deer mice.

The tent cabins, especially the Signature Tent Cabins, in Curry Village were.

.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 02:48PM
Plawrence, I agree with what you are saying but apachemd is not staying at Curry. If apachemd's group was staying in Curry then that would be different since the risk might be higher because of the infestation of the Signature Cabins. I may be wrong, but I don't think that there is much difference staying at the Lodge or staying at LYV and that was the point I was making.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 03:58PM
Not to cause alarm but don't believe that there are no mice at the lodge. A few years back, we had to hang our food bag to keep it away from the critters. They really ran rampant in the cabins that were removed after the flood, but our last stay was in the "condos" type lodging.

One thing that seems strange to me is why visitors are contracting the hantavirus and not employees. The housekeeping staff performs the type of behavior that would put them most at risk...cleaning.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 17, 2012 04:27PM
Do you remember which building it was? Was your room on the first floor by any chance?

In regards to the Lodge, yes, there are mice there too. They're everywhere in the park (and outside of the park). But since 1992 when HPS was first recognized, there has been zero reported cases of anyone contracting HPS anywhere in Yosemite, except for those who had stayed overnight in a canvas tent cabin, either at Curry Village, at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, or at a High Sierra Camp.

I wouldn't think twice about staying at the Lodge, regardless of any mice that one might see in and around the Lodge. The Lodge rooms and bed linens are kept cleaner than those in the tent cabins at Curry.

If there was any reported cases of HPS contracted by someone who had stayed at the Lodge, I would think differently.

(In my opinion, there's a far great risk of serious injury climbing Half Dome than staying overnight at the Lodge.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2012 07:21PM by plawrence.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 18, 2012 09:11AM
Where there are mice there is the possiblity ( such as under my home smiling smiley )

Hey, I still wouldn't hesitate staying in the tent cabins...I'm jus sayin'...Little Yosemite, Curry, the Lodge...stay and play and have fun.


(as for the "condo"...first floor, late November)
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 19, 2012 05:14AM
Just got back from 4 nights at Curry and am still alive.
If that changes, I'll let you know.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 19, 2012 09:59AM
So this is mostly a problem indoors, correct? What if you come across the same poop in a meadow? Could the winds lift the viruses into the air, and perhaps you'll be unlucky enough to breathe it in?
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 19, 2012 10:14AM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
So this is mostly a problem indoors, correct? What if you come across the same poop in a meadow? Could the winds lift the viruses into the air, and perhaps you'll be unlucky enough to breathe it in?

Probably could happen. Maybe slightly more likely than getting ate by a bear in Yosemite.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 19, 2012 11:06AM
Reported cases have been in enclosed areas or around buildings where there has been infestations. Sure the virus could be carried by winds but think about how diluted the virus would be in the air if you are walking through a meadow and how slim the chances are that you would inhale an active virus. Outside of its host, the virus will usually die within several days. Like the "Myth Busters" say it is possible but not probable. You have more chance of winning the lotto multiple times than catching it walking through a meadow. Also, remember the virus has been in the US for decades and is in almost every state and there has been less than 600 cases reported.

I have been telling friends that are worried about catching the virus is to read all of the information that is put out by the CDC so they will know how one catches it and what preventative measures to take to avoid catching it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2012 12:28PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 19, 2012 11:28AM
I'll also add that the best way to avoid catching ANY virus, not just the hantavirus, is to eat with clean, disinfected hands. I think most people who get sick while backpacking do so because they eat their food with their hands that haven't been properly cleaned. The world is full of germs, and the number one way germs get into our body is via our contaminated hands touching the food that we eat.

.
Re: Hantavirus -- go, or cancel trip?
September 19, 2012 03:36PM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
So this is mostly a problem indoors, correct? What if you come across the same poop in a meadow? Could the winds lift the viruses into the air, and perhaps you'll be unlucky enough to breathe it in?

This is from a CDC Handout:
"Contaminated items
that cannot be disinfected
(e.g., paper, wood, fabric)
should be carefully set
outside in the sun for
2-3 days.

Sunlight will
inactivate the virus."

I would not worry very much about it outdoors. Obviously, try to avoid unnecessary exposure to mouse poop and other precautions, but beyond that, enjoy yourself.
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