A Yosemite virus could affect up to 10,000 guests who stayed at certain lodging cabins at the national park recently, according to park officials.
Thousands of guests at Yosemite National park could have been exposed to a deadly mouse-borne virus, sparking panic calls from thousands of recent guests to the park.
Letters and emails were sent to nearly 3,000 people this week who stayed in the "Signature" cabins between June and August. The letter informed the former guests that they may have been exposed to the potentially deadly virus. All of the victims confirmed to have contracted the virus so far resided in the insulated "Signature" tent cabins in the park's "Curry Village" between mid-June and early July 2012.
The affected cabins hold up to four people, which means in addition to the 3,000 known registered gusts who received the warning, another 7,000 others could also have been exposed.
So far two people are known to have died already from the deadly virus, and another four have been taken seriously ill.
Authorities have confirmed that more than 1,000 calls are being placed to the Yosemite National Park hotline set up for the situation, with panicking former guests urgent to find out more information and whether they may have been exposed or not.
The virus is a growing outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrom, which can cause those affected to be taken seriously sick, and in the most extreme cases can cause death. The illness reportedly commences with flu-like symptoms, but can take six weeks to incubate before rapid acute respiratory and organ failure. However, there is no cure, and anyone exhibiting the symptoms should be hospitalized immediately, as more than one in three of those who contract the virus will die from it.
Park spokesman Scott Gediman has informed reporters: "We're reaching out and they are reaching out to us, and we are trying in every way shape and form to be transparent and forthright. We want to tell people this is what we know. The most important thing is the safety of park visitors and employees."
The Yosemite hotline number is 209-372-0822, and is in operation between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.