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Yosemite Workers Tested For Hantavirus, Ordered To Keep Quiet

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Tent cabins at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park (CBS)

Tent cabins at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. (CBS)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS/AP) — California public health officials have tested 100 workers at Yosemite National Park to determine whether they were exposed to the deadly mouse-borne hantavirus.

Nine people who spent time at the park this year have been infected with the rare virus, the majority after staying at the “Signature” cabins in Curry Village. Three of them died.

KTVU-TV Oakland said 100 park workers submitted to voluntary testing on Wednesday and they have been ordered not to discuss the testing.

It was not known when the tests will be completed or if they would be made public.

Yosemite National Park officials plan to offer testing to all employees in the park to determine whether they’ve been infected with the virus.

Park spokesman John Quinley said Thursday the voluntary testing will be available to all employees of the National Park Service and the park’s concessionaire, DNC Parks and Resort. He declined to say when the testing would start.

The California Department of Public Health conducted a pilot testing program Wednesday, taking blood samples and questionnaires from 96 National Park Service employees.

There have been no confirmed or suspected hantavirus cases among employees so far. But nine people who visited the park this summer have been infected, the majority after staying at the “Signature” cabins in Curry Village. Three of them have died.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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