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Yosemite National Park reports 170 cases of stomach illness

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Posted at 9:22 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 23:23:01-05

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Yosemite National Park says it has received around 170 reports of people have have experienced a gastrointestinal illness after visiting the park, including park visitors and employees. Most of those reporting illnesses spent time in Yosemite Valley.

Most of the cases are consistent with norovirus, and two cases are confirmed to be norovirus.

Most of the cases occurred around the first week of January this year, and there has been a sharp decline in new cases reported over the past several days.

Yosemite officials and medical professionals with the National Park Service Office of Public Health are still investigating what led to the illnesses, and are interviewing those who were affected.

Norovirus can spread quickly, including through direct contact with an infected person, by touching a contaminated surface or object, or by eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the virus. Symptoms usually begin 12-48 hours after exposure.

There are are some ways to help prevent the spread of norovirus and similar illnesses:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
  • Avoid sharing food or drinks with other people, especially when you’re sick or they’re sick.
  • If you do experience any illness, please stay hydrated and contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. Please limit your interaction with other people as much as possible to prevent further spread.

Anyone who has recently visited Yosemite National Park and has information related to a case of gastrointestinal illness can email Yosemite Park.