STONY BROOK (AP) - Lab tests have confirmed that a New York professor contracted the potentially deadly hantavirus, possibly during a hiking trip in the Adirondacks.
A spokeswoman for Stony Brook University on Long Island said Monday the results were confirmed late last week. Doctors suspected the university professor, Michael T. Vaughan, contracted the disease after an August camping trip.
Lab results confirming the diagnosis were sent to the state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stony Brook University professor Michael T. Vaughan holds up photographs taken during a summer camping trip in the Adirondacks as he speaks with reporters at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook on Oct. 12.
(AP photo — Frank Eltman)
Vaughan has since recovered.
He was bitten by an animal while camping near Mount Marcy in northern New York. Doctors say it is unlikely the bite was the direct cause, but it confirmed the presence of rodents, which can carry the disease.
As a precaution, the state Department of Health will inspect the professor's Suffolk County home to see if there's any risk of exposure to hantavirus at the residence.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation will check and remove anything that could attract rodents in and around lean-tos in the eastern High Peaks Wilderness in the Adirondacks. DEC will also continue to advise campers to avoid attracting nuisance wildlife by following proper food storage, handling and cleanup practices.
Nine visitors at California's Yosemite National Park this summer became infected with hantavirus. Three later died.