Death from Hantavirus


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The death of a Minnesota woman in her early 50’s of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The individual, whose name and hometown have not been released, was admitted to a hospital in Minnesota June 11 and died the following day, according to a press release from the River Runners for Wilderness organization.

According to Minnesota Department of Health officials, she flew to Page, Arizona on May 12, and stayed at Marble Canyon Lodge the nights of May 12 and 13. On May 14, the river runner joined a group of family and friends on a self-guided river trip that launched on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon from Lees Ferry, Arizona ending at Diamond Creek on June 29. After the river trip, the group drove back to Page, Arizona, and spent the night at the Page Marriott Courtyard before traveling back to Minnesota.

According to trip participants, the oarsmen slept on the boats and everyone else slept in tents. One of the rafters mentioned that she saw two mice at Poncho’s Kitchen, a little over half way through the trip. It is not uncommon for popular campsites along the river, such as Poncho’s, to be inhabited by numerous mice.

On a personal note…My Father had an employee die from Hantavirus. He lived in Tucson. He was moving firewood in his backyard. It was covered in mouse droppings. He died three weeks later.


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