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Recently Released Report

NPS Contractor Oversight of Visitor Tent Cabins at Yosemite National Park Involved in Hantavirus Outbreak


During the summer of 2012, Yosemite National Park experienced a hantavirus outbreak with 10 cases, 9 of which were linked to Curry Village’s “Signature” tent cabins. In response to the hantavirus outbreak, we conducted an inspection to determine whether the National Park Service (NPS) provides adequate concessionaire oversight of Yosemite National Park visitor tent cabins.

Hantavirus is a potentially severe disease of the lungs that can progress into hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which can be fatal. Yosemite’s hantavirus outbreak was caused by the Sin Nombre strain of hantavirus that is carried by wild deer mice and shed in their feces, urine, and saliva. Infected deer mice made nests within the walls of the Signature tent cabins, likely infecting the nine individuals linked to Curry Village.

During our inspection, we found that NPS provided oversight consistent with its current policy. In addition, when the outbreak was identified, NPS mobilized to contain and remediate the outbreak, and to prevent further outbreaks. NPS acted according to its review and approval criteria for the concessionaire’s plans and proposals, pest monitoring and management activities, inspections of the concessionaire’s visitor accommodations, and information dissemination regarding hantavirus and other vector-borne diseases. After the outbreak, NPS increased its role in oversight and approval of these planning and monitoring activities.

In our report, we made four recommendations to assist NPS in its hantavirus prevention activities throughout its national parks specific to guest accommodations.

Read the complete report

Last Updated: 05/20/2013