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[at-l] eastern PA hantavirus death
An AP story that appears in today's NY Times reports that a man in
eastern Pennsylvania died of the hantavirus on Nov. 16, which
he contracted while hunting.
The story is datelined Trexlertown, PA, which appears to be about 15
miles from the AT, and a doctor from Lehigh Valley hospital who worked
on the case is quoted as saying "hunters and other people spending time
outdoors need to be cautious." The death is the first recorded case of
the hantavirus in Pennsylvania, according to the article. Since the
man's death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta,
GA) have begun a survey on the prevalance of the disease among rodents
in eastern PA. No information on when the survey is to be completed.
After some information about the effects of the disease (40-80% fatality
rate) and its effect (it has killed 88 people in 28 states since
its identification in 1993), the story states "in the eastern United
States, cases have been reported in New York, Florida, North Carolina,
Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia."
Hantavirus isn't a new threat to the AT community, of course -- the
Appalachian Trailway News had an article about its risks about two years
ago, if I recall correctly. But it seems to me an issue to keep an eye
on, given the nature of the trail and, especially, its shelters.
Wireless in the Wilderness: http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~appell/antennas
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