Published: Sat, January 18, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Park: 170 visitors fall ill after visiting Yosemite

Park: 170 visitors fall ill after visiting Yosemite

Officials with the National Park Service are reporting scores of cases of gastrointestinal illness at Yosemite National Park.

It has been confirmed that two cases are the norovirus, which, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.

"Most of the cases occurred on and around the first week of January 2020 and there has been a significant decline of new cases reported over the past several days", the park said in a statement. "It's very hard to find out exactly where it started". Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches, and usually last one to three days.

"I'm upset because we love going to the park, and we love going to the Ahwahnee, but now we are going to feel a little bit wary", Bennett said.

It can be prevented by washing hands frequently with soap and avoiding sharing food and water with sick people.

The incident comes as Yosemite and Aramark struggle to maintain adequate visitor services at the park.

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In 2017, a number of seventh-grade students from the John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, California were exposed to the norovirus after taking a field trip to the National Park. The disease is also the most common cause of vomiting, diarrhea and foodborne illness.

Norovirus can be spread out in different means, consisting of with straight call with a contaminated individual, touching a polluted surface area or things as well as consuming polluted food or beverages.

The park is investigating the circumstances of the illness and interviewing those affected.

Most of those who reported becoming sick in Yosemite had symptoms consistent with norovirus.

Newsweek reached out to Yosemite Park officials for comment and further information on the norovirus but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

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