Yosemite Taking Steps to Control Deer Mice

Yosemite Taking Steps to Control Deer Mice

In light of recent hantavirus outbreak, park officials are making an effort to trap or kill the disease-carrying rodents.

September 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Yosemite National Park is trying to control its deer mouse population in light of the recent hantavirus outbreak that has infected eight people and killed three according to the most recent numbers, Reuters reports.

The deer mouse is the primary carrier of hantavirus in the United States, according to the CDC. The virus is transmitted through the rodents' feces, urine and saliva. 

"From an ecological perspective, it appears that there was an unnaturally high population of rodents in the area. We are being proactive and reducing the population," Danielle Buttke, a veterinary epidemiologist for the National Park Service, told Reuters.

Park officials closed nearly 100 tent cabins in the park's Curry Village area, where deer mouse infestations have been found, according to Reuters. Buttke added the mice were being trapped in several areas of the park for monitoring purposes, with snap traps being used in the Curry Village area

Reuters reports that Yosemite officials have warned some 22,000 people who have stayed in the park over the summer that may have been exposed to hantavirus. The CDC has also signaled a world-wide warning for those that have stayed in Curry Village between June and August.

Read the full Reuters report at The Chicago Tribune