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West Virginia health officials report Yosemite-linked hantavirus death

Published September 6, 2012 2:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Charleston, W.Va. • Health officials say a West Virginia resident has died from the outbreak of a rodent-borne illness linked to Yosemite National Park.

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department director Rahul Gupta withheld the victim's name at a news conference Thursday. Gupta says the victim had visited the park since June.

Last week, Yosemite National Park officials said up to 10,000 people who stayed in certain cabins might have been exposed to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Gupta says the virus has now killed three people and sickened five others.

There is no cure. People can be infected by inhaling the virus or by handling infected rodents. Infected people usually have flu-like symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, chills and muscle and body aches.