NY hiker may have had hantavirus - New York News

NY hiker may have had hantavirus

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The New York Department of Health is investigating a long island man's claim that he contracted the hantavirus from a mouse bite in the Adirondacks.

Michael Vaughan is an avid hiker who believes he contracted the virus on a camping trip. About a month the trip, Vaughan started to feel the symptoms: nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath when climbing the stairs.

It could have been anything, but Vaughan remembered that one night while sleeping in an open cabin called a lean-to he believes he was bitten on the thumb by a mouse.

It was significant clue for doctors, because rodents carry the potentially deadly hanta virus

Preliminary lab results have suggested Vaughan was infected with hanta virus, although doctors are awaiting further confirmation.

They said the infection likely did not come from the mouse bite itself, but from dust created by the rodent's droppings.

Vaughan, a 72-year-old stony brook professor, was immediately checked into the intensive care unit.

"They monitored me for four days, at first I had a low level of oxygen in my blood so they put me on oxygen," he said.

Soon after Vaughan made a full recovery for which he is lucky.

His is the first potential case of hantavirus case in New York this year.

Over the summer, three people died after being infected while in Yosemite National Park.

The scare has not stopped Vaughun from enjoying the great outdoors.

"Yes, I will continue to hike, I may not stay in that particular lean to again," he said.

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