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Yosemite shuts cabins at center of rodent probe

Posted: August 30, 2012 1:22 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2012 1:22 p.m.

In this undated photo, visitors to a these tent cabins at Yosemite National Park in California may have been exposed to a rare but potentially deadly rodent-carried virus.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Yosemite National Park officials have indefinitely closed 91 cabins at the center of a probe into the deaths of two people from a mouse-borne virus.

Officials say the double-walled design of the cabins made it easy for mice to nest between the walls.

Over the past three weeks, two people have died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome after staying in one of the so-called "Signature" cabins. Another person is confirmed ill and one more likely has the virus that kills 36 percent of the people it infects.

All of the victims stayed in the only tent-style cabins in Curry Village that are insulated.

Mike Gauthier, Yosemite chief of staff, said the design allowed for rodent infestation.

The disease is carried in the feces, urine and saliva of deer mice and other rodents.


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