Health officials in California are investigating a norovirus outbreak that seems to be linked to Yosemite National Park. Since early January, more than 170 people have been diagnosed with the ailment, with the majority of them indicating that they had visited the park within the past few weeks. Both federal and state investigators have descended on the park to try to determine the exact cause and location of the norovirus outbreak, but as of now, they are uncertain as to its origins.
The highly contagious norovirus includes symptoms of nausea, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe stomach pain. It can often be dismissed as food poisoning early on, but it can linger for much longer and can be far more detrimental to a person’s health. The virus is usually transmitted through food or coming in contact with an infected person. It can also be caught simply by touching an infected surface before putting your hands in your mouth.
Right now, the most likely scenario seems to be that the visitors to Yosemite contracted the virus though food served at one of the park’s restaurants, although officials have cautioned that this theory hasn’t been confirmed as of yet. A large number of the infected individuals stayed in the Curry Village campsite, so it is possible that someone who already had the virus came into contact with a large number of people, spreading it around in a short period of time.
Thankfully, the number of new cases of norovirus being reported seems to have dropped off. Most of those who were infected seem to have been in Yosemite around the start of the New Year, or shortly there after, although some reports were from individuals who had picked it up from infected person later. Anyone visiting the park in the near future are cautioned to be careful of what they eat and to wash their hands regularly. This should help them to avoid the virus and enjoy the park while remaining healthy.
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