CPS Requests Vacationers to US Yosemite National Park to Contact Health Authority

for Information and Family Physician if develop Symptoms

As of 31 August 2012, the National Park Service Office of Public Healh (NPS) has reported six cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) among visitors to Yosemite National Park in California, United States of America. Two of the six cases died.


Investigations carried out by the NPS revealed that the six cases contracted the disease in June and July of this year. Five of these six cases stayed in the same "Signature Tent cabins" in the Curry Village area of the park.


NPS is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health to detect additional cases and to heighten public awareness of Hantavirus and HPS, in order to rapidly identify potential new cases and provide treatment early.


The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour, is appealing to residents who during the summer school holidays may have travelled to the Yosemite Park, to contact CPS for information or if they develop symptoms to contact their family physician.   


As part of the Minister’s public health campaign of "Get Checked," Minister responsible for Public Health, Social Development & Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever encourages holiday travelers to: "Check with CPS before and in this case after traveling. Do not hesitate to contact CPS for travel requirements and any additional information that you may need."


HPS is a rare but serious disease and is caused by a virus that individuals get through contact with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents. The deer mouse is the primary host of the virus.


The disease begins with fever, chills, muscle aches, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms, but can progress rapidly to life-threatening illness. 


Symptoms of HPS typically occur from two to four weeks after initial exposure to the virus. However, symptoms can appear as early as one week and as late as six weeks following exposure. Person-to-person transmission of Hantavirus has not been reported in the United States.


There is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine for Hantavirus infection. Early recognition and treatment of infected individuals can reduce disease progression.


Persons can reach CPS at the following telephone numbers: 542-3003 or 542-2078.