Hantavirus in Yosemite
What can I do to protect myself while in Yosemite or other areas around the U.S. where this has been found?
The park is a natural environment that contains wild animals, including rodents. All visitors should be aware of safety information related to visiting Yosemite, ranging from river safety to bear awareness and hantavirus awareness.
We do suggest that you are mindful of the steps that can be taken to reduce exposure to hantavirus. These include:
- Avoid touching live or dead rodents or disturbing rodent burrows, dens, or nests.
- Keep food in tightly sealed containers (including those stored in bear boxes) and store away from rodents.
- Take care not to stir up dust.
- Minimize storage of luggage and other materials on floors.
- Contact housekeeping or maintenance if signs of rodents are present, including feces or urine.
- Do not pitch tents or place sleeping bags in proximity to rodent feces or burrows or near possible rodent habitat (for example, dense brush or woodpiles).
- Avoid sleeping on bare ground. Use a cot with the sleeping surface at least 12 inches above the ground or use a tent with a floor.
- Dispose of all trash and garbage promptly in accordance with campsite regulations by burning, discarding in rodent-proof trash containers, or packing it out in rodent-proof containers.
- If visitors notice rodent droppings, they should contact staff immediately. National Park Service and concessioner staff are trained and equipped to respond to evidence of rodent activity.
National Park Service