Legal Articles

June 23, 2013

Breakout of norovirus in 2 national parks

No, it’s not a rampaging bird flu, but the norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus. This virus affects 21 million people each year in the U.S. and it is now stalking two of the nation’s favorite national parks: Yellowstone and Grand Teton. 

Norovirus common to crowded areas 

Symptoms of a norovirus infection include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms will appear within 48 hours of exposure and generally will last a few days and then clear up without any treatment besides bed rest and plenty of fluids. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Noroviruses commonly spread through food or water contaminated by fecal matter during preparation. You can also acquire norovirus infection through close contact with an infected person.” These viruses are especially common in crowded areas, like day cares, cruise ships, and hospitals. 

Infected employees quarantined 

So far, between the two parks, 150 employees and 50 guests have been diagnosed with norovirus. To prevent further spread, national park staff are sanitizing and scrubbing every surface of every hotel. Employees who have been diagnosed with or possibly infected by norovirus are quarantined to help stop the spread. 

Be “hand aware” 

National Park Services has recently released a statement telling guests of either park to wash their hands frequently to avoid catching the disease. It also helps for people to be conscious aware of what kinds of surfaces they are touching.


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