A man was hospitalized with hantavirus, a rare and potentially fatal rodent-borne respiratory disease he may have contracted after staying in cabins at California parks, his family said.
Spencer Fly, 22, began having symptoms of the disease during the Fourth of July weekend, his family told Fox 40. The family wrote on a crowdfunding page they were camping at Lee Vining when Fry began having consistent headaches over five days. One day, he woke up with a 104-degree fever.
"My mom, Haven Fry, and I insisted he return Sacramento with us not knowing how fast this was going to progress," Fry's brother wrote.
"After a couple hours in the ER vomiting began and his lungs began to fill with fluid. He was quickly rushed to the ICU where he has now been for 9 days," he added.
Fry remains in critical condition has he continues to battle the rare virus that is usually spread through deer mice droppings. The 22-year-old worked as a tour guide at Bodie State Park in California, a ghost town about 100 miles from Yosemite National Park.
The Department of Parks and Recreations has not confirmed Fry contracted the disease during his stay at the state park, but his family said the guides knew there were deer mice in the cabins.
California Department of Public Health reported one person died in 2011 after contracting the disease during his visit at Bodie State Park.
The family wrote an updated statement on Monday that Fry is "awake and able to communicate" by writing on a whiteboard. Fry is breathing through a ventilator on Sunday due to fluid in his lungs.
Hantavirus outbreak in Washington state killed three people and sickened two others earlier this month. Along with deer mice droppings, the illness can also spread to humans through contact with urine, saliva or nesting materials of infected rodents, or by inhaling dust contaminated with the virus.
Since 2012, at least 10 people have contracted the virus after visiting Yosemite National park, Fox 40 reported.
The virus kills more than a third of its victims, but cannot be transmitted from person to person.