Deer mice are common carriers of the HPS virus. (photo courtesy of 6th Happiness as on Rodentfancy.)

Due to the outbreak of the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in Curry Village, teachers organizing the annual November freshman TEAM trip will alter their plans.
“We’ll be staying at the Wawona Hotel in the southern region of [Yosemite National] park,” TEAM English teacher Denise Shaw said. “We’ll do most of our hiking in the Wawona area instead of in the valley, and we’ll be dining at the Wawona instead of the Curry Village cafeteria.”
The Wawona is 25 miles away from Curry Village, which is about a 50 minute drive, according to Google Maps.
Other than the changes in hiking location, the itinerary for the trip will remain the same including the activities managed by the NatureBridge program, according to Shaw.
Concerned families will be provided with more information as the date of departure approaches.
“NatureBridge will send out their director of risk management to speak directly with families and answer all questions and address all concerns during our information meeting in October,” Shaw said.
According to a statement released by Yosemite National Park, HPS has infected a total of nine vacationers and been fatal in three case. It is spread by the inhalation of rodents’ waste.
Due to the severity of the situation, NatureBridge is working with schools to guarantee the safety of hands-on education programs scheduled prior to the epidemic.
Despite these safety measures, the threat of the virus is still serious.
“Some parents are concerned about the safety of their children,” Shaw said. “We’re trying to do all that we can to provide information to families so that they can decide for themselves whether or not their children will be attending this trip with us.”