No More Cases of Norovirus Reported in Yosemite

In Food, News, On the Trail

No new cases of a norovirus that has been circulating among hikers and backpackers in the Tuolumne Meadows area have been reported since 30 people reported symptoms a week ago.

The Modesto Bee: “About 30 people came down with symptoms consistent with the norovirus infection at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and High Sierra camps in the area, said Shane Sims, a specialist in the safety office at Yosemite National Park.

The lodge, at an elevation of 8,775 feet, serves as a base camp for day hikers and backpackers. Park rangers began receiving illness reports the weekend of July 12-13; the cases tapered off last week.

About five hikers with severe symptoms were airlifted from the High Sierra camps, Sims said. Of the six people known to have sought medical attention, all were released from care, officials said.

‘Many of the people who were ill were traveling in tight groups, so it was easy for the illness to spread in those groups,’ Sims said, adding, ‘People shouldn’t fear coming into the park. It appears to be under control.’

Experts with the National Park Service Office of Public Health concluded it was norovirus infection, a common intestinal illness, based on one person testing positive and symptoms that included low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The illness comes on quickly and goes away in 24 to 48 hours. The highly contagious virus can be spread through contaminated food, water or fecal matter. But park officials said they found no evidence that meals served at the lodge or the camps triggered the outbreak.

It’s also spread by person-to- person contact and easily could have been brought by any of the thousands of people who visit the park each day, officials said. Sims noted there have been other norovirus outbreaks this summer in Mariposa County.”

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