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NPS Contractor Oversight of Visitor Tent Cabins at Yosemite National Park Involved in Hantavirus Outbreak

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Just came across this report from the Department of the Interior, Office of the Inspector General in regards to last summer's (2012) Hantavirus outbreak at Curry Village. It was published on May 15, 2013.


Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of the Interior

NPS CONTRACTOR OVERSIGHT OF VISITOR TENT CABINS AT YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK INVOLVED IN HANTAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Results in Brief:
During the summer of 2012, Yosemite National Park experienced a hantavirus outbreak with 10 cases, 9 of which were linked to Curry Village’s “Signature” tent cabins. Hantavirus is a potentially severe disease of the lungs that can progress into hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which can be fatal. In response to the hantavirus outbreak, we conducted an inspection to determine whether the National Park Service (NPS) is providing adequate concessionaire oversight of Yosemite National Park visitor tent cabins.

We found that NPS provided oversight consistent with its current policy. In addition, when the outbreak was identified, NPS mobilized to contain and remediate the outbreak, and to prevent further outbreaks. NPS acted according to its review and approval criteria for the concessionaire’s plans and proposals, pest monitoring and management activities, inspections of the concessionaire’s visitor accommodations, and information dissemination of hantavirus and other vectorborne diseases. After the outbreak, NPS increased its role in oversight and approval of these planning and monitoring activities.

In our report, we made four recommendations to assist NPS in its hantavirus prevention activities throughout its national parks specific to guest accommodations.


Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion
During Yosemite’s 2012 hantavirus outbreak, NPS provided oversight consistent with current NPS and Departmental policy and acted to contain, remediate, and prevent future outbreaks. Using its experiences from the outbreak in Yosemite, NPS now has the opportunity to identify lessons learned and position itself to improve its prevention efforts and reduce risks of future occurrences of hantavirus outbreak in its parks.

Recommendations
Specific to NPS oversight of concessions involving visitor accommodations, we recommend that the NPS Director, using a risk-based approach:
  • Require NPS health, safety, and building officials to review proposals of new visitor accommodations and modifications to their structures for vector-borne disease vulnerabilities and document the outcome of the reviews before NPS authorizes work on structures;
  • Require NPS health, safety, and building officials to inspect visitor accommodations on a cyclical basis to assess vector-borne disease vulnerabilities.
Specific to NPS oversight of concessions of Yosemite tent cabins, we recommend that the NPS Director:
  • Require DNC to report the results of its monitoring of concession areas to Yosemite health and safety officials; and
  • Require that education material is made available to all overnight park visitors regardless of where they stay.




I couldn't find a previous link to the Inspector General report on this forum, so here's the link to the complete official report (including charts and photos):

http://www.doi.gov/oig/reports/upload/WR-IS-NPS-0009-2013Public.pdf

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Whoever wrote the title to that brief needs a lesson in clarity.

As it is written it makes it sound like the NPS was somehow involved, or helped create, the outbreak.
Quote
hotrod4x5
Whoever wrote the title to that brief needs a lesson in clarity.

As it is written it makes it sound like the NPS was somehow involved, or helped create, the outbreak.

Everyone with an education should be required to take a technical writing course.Pounding head on desk
Quote
hotrod4x5
Whoever wrote the title to that brief needs a lesson in clarity.

As it is written it makes it sound like the NPS was somehow involved, or helped create, the outbreak.

+1
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