A Bodie State Park worker is recovering after claiming to have contracted Hantavirus from the famous state park just over the state line.
Spencer Fry, a recent graduate of Sacramento State, had accepted a job at the historic mining town because of his love of anthropology and the outdoors.
Fry had complained of a headache while spending the Fourth of July with his family in Bodie. The family then headed over to Mono Lake, then to Tioga Pass with a hike through the back side of Yosemite.
The family explained that Fry had been taking Tylenol for a reoccurring headache for five to six days, with no relief.
Fry’s mother kept “dialing in on hantavirus” after a former worker in Bodie, had died from the disease years ago.
Returning back to Bodie for the shift he was to work the next day, Fry woke up with a fever topping 104 degrees, the family stated.
He was taken to Mono County and seen in the emergency room, where he was told “that he probably didn’t have hantavirus” but just the flu.
He was sent back to the remote state park, with directions to get plenty of rest and fluids.
Fry’s mother pleaded to take him to the Sacramento region to be seen by physicians in the area. Fry pleaded to allow him to stay the night in Bodie.
Delirious and still suffering a fever of 104 degrees and over, Fry was taken by a park employee to meet his family the next day where he was rushed to Kaiser Roseville Emergency Room. There, the park employee began vomiting.
Under Kaiser’s care, Fry was proned for 18 hours at a time for three days straight to keep his lungs from building up with fluid and suffocating the young college graduate.
Hantavirus is caused by the deer mouse, which lives throughout the desert areas of the West. The mice are found not only in old abandoned buildings (like those found in Bodie) but also in habituated areas. When picking up the droppings of mice, it is advised to spray them with bleach, don a mask and rubber gloves and dispose of the droppings in a sealed plastic bag.
Fry made a promise to his mother, Haven, right before he was sedated which was she “would be with him every night in the room and her son promised her that he would get better.” The two kept their promise to one another.
In speaking with a Hawthorne resident who used to work at the state park, she confirmed that there was a specific protocol in order to handle mice droppings.
Fry’s family wants Bodie and the State of California to accept responsibility for putting those who live in at the historic mining park at risk. They claim that the buildings are “infested with rodents”.
Editors Note: The State of California is investigating Fry’s claim of contracting the Hantavirus at Bodie State Historic Park.