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Ever Hear of the Hantavirus

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by 2sweed, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I was reading recently an article in the Backpacker magazine, as well as, on Mother Jones, about the danger of picking up this virus while camping in certain types of tent and cabin settings. In 2012, in Yosemite National Park, several people contacted this deadly disease while staying in tents that had been setting in the same place for a longtime and also were double-walled with space between the layers. It seems that infected deer mice had built nests in the tents and left lots of fresh urine, feces, or saliva. The virus can spread to humans through inhalation of dust particles mixed with feces, thus and develop into the Hanta-virus, pulmonary disease which is often fatal.
    These droppings are found in old barns and tents, cabins and even in trail shelters. There is no cure and no real preventable treatment for this illness.
    Check out this story to read more about the virus and how to protect yourself from contact with it.

  2. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    I had never heard of this virus before, and it looks like we don't have any problem with it down here in Alabama. This kind of surprised me, since warm , wet climates is apparently where the field mice are more likely to multiply, and that is exactly the climate that we tend to have down here.
    Since California has been in a drought for the past few years, and had all of the wildfires last summer, I would think that the danger would now be much less there, too.
    It definitely sounds like something that you do not want to contract, for sure.
  3. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Guess it is pretty bad. Lots of folks have died from it and it stems from the waste products of infected deer mice. So avoid old buildings and barns, camps and shelters, and old tents. I never heard of this either, seems we have enough bad diseases without little unknown ones cropping up. :eek::dead:
  4. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Pathfinder

    Anytime I find any type of droppings I sanitize the hell out my gear or clothing with bleach and water. Most diseases are spread through fecal matter which is why we bury ours when we go camping. When packing your gear for storage make sure it is in a airtight sealed bag. Don't let those little critters in there to fester and breed.
    campforums likes this.
  5. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...and wash your hands.
    happyflowerlady and campforums like this.
  6. CherylTorrie

    CherylTorrie Novice Camper

    I have never contracted the hantavirus while camping but I did get Giardia at a NY State campground once. It is a nasty parasite that caused all kinds of problems with my digestive tract. I lost over 40 pounds and was hospitalized before they figured out what was wrong. Swimming in the wrong pond and swallowing a mouth full of poopy (literally) water is not a good thing while camping. Yes, I have been back to the campground. It was the rough housing in the pond that caused me to get sick not the campsite. :)
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Gross! It do happen.

    :banghead: "Smash my head against a pine tree!" I have never been ill on a trip - yet. I really do pay attention to cleanliness right down to making sure that I shave every day. I have the best of water purification and I am alert to water formations and locations that alert me to possible hazards. If there is anything dead around the water or any peculiar ordour or colour I move on. Alas I don't drink anymore from the middle of the lake as my canoe skimmed over the water - I have a purified supply now.

    Food Preparation is another matter as well as general health and safety. That is why a Safety Officer is appointed on our larger canoe trips. What he says is law - and there is no discussion.

    And dogs? My dogs have been trained to leave it. These excellent creatures bring in a whole new dimension as well as adding pleasure to camping. They need to be trained - and I do (well as much as one can under the circumstance.)

    :bear: Baden Bear here - Northern Dancer has been referred to as Mr. Tiddy Bowl on more than one occasion.
    CherylTorrie likes this.
  8. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    I have heard of something similar years ago. Someone I worked with said her son contracted a type of lung virus or bacteria from cleaning out cow stalls, and by the time they figured it out it was to late. I have read about Giardia that CherylT mentioned, so I figured if I get ill some time after a camping trip and end up at the doctors, I would mention that I was camping. Of course I haven't been to the doctors in like 5 or 6 years.

    Just last weekend I was crawling around in the dirty, spider infested crawl space under the house closing the vents.
  9. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...haven't seen a doctor in five or six years? Brave. I do the "Week" at least once a year - medical, dental, eyes, ears, and throat I luvs the national health scheme.

    Anyway - the tragedy is that there are a lot of new bugs out there and though I don't panic I am cognizant of the dangers; I just think of this as another safety issue.

    I'm sure missing summer.
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