Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most beautiful scenic attractions, but would-be visitors will probably want to reschedule their trips.  Emails went out this week to the almost 3,000 people who reserved “Signature” cabins in Yosemite’s Curry Village between June and August to warn them of their potential exposure to the deadly mouse-borne hantavirus. Up to 10,000 people may have actually stayed in the cabins and been exposed. There have been two deaths and four illnesses related to the virus so far.  The park reports that it is getting more than a thousand concerned phone calls a day on the park’s new hantavirus hotline.

“The earlier it’s caught and supportive care is given, the better the survival rate,” said Dr. Vicki Kramer, chief of vector-borne diseases at the state Public Health Department.  FYI: Early flu-like symptoms include headache, coughing, fever, muscle ache, and shortness of breath.  Symptoms may take up to 60 days to manifest after exposure.

The disease is carried in the excrement and saliva of mice and other rodents. The cabins involved have a double-walled design conducive to mice nesting.  Officials have closed 91 tent cabins in the village and the California Department of Public Health spokeswoman, Anita Gore, said it is possible that one of the infected people visited other parts of the park.

The outbreak occurred despite the park’s efforts in April to increase protection, which were initiated after a state report showed 18 percent of mice trapped in Yosemite were positive for hantavirus.

Featured image via Shutterstock