Check with CPS for Hantavirus infections, minister recommends

POSTED: 09/10/12 12:47 AM

St. Maarten (DCOMM) – The United States national park service office of public health NPS has reported six cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) among visitors to Yosemite national park in California since August 31. Two patients died.
The Collective Prevention Services CPS of the Public Health Ministry appeals to residents who have travelled to Yosemite to contact it for information or if they develop symptoms to contact their family physician.

Investigations carried out by the NPS revealed that the six cases contracted the disease in June and July of this year. Five of these six cases stayed in the same signature tent cabins in the park’s Curry Village area.
NPS works closely with the centers for disease control and prevention and the California department of public health to detect additional cases and to increase public awareness about the virus to rapidly identify potential new cases and provide treatment early.

In St. Maarten Public health Minister Cornelius de Weever encourages travelers to check with CPS. “Do not hesitate to contact CPS for travel requirements and any additional information that you may need,” the minister said in a statement issued this weekend.
HPS is a rare but serious disease and is caused by a virus that individuals get through contact with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents. The deer mouse is the virus’ primary host.

The disease begins with fever, chills, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal symptoms, but can progress rapidly to a life-threatening illness.
Symptoms typically occur from two to four weeks after initial exposure, but they could also appear as early as one week and as late as six weeks after exposure.
There is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine for this infection. Early recognition and treatment can potentially reduce the disease’s progression.
The phone numbers for CPS are 542 30 03 or 542 20 78.

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