YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Yosemite National Park officials reported Thursday at least 170 cases of gastrointestinal illness among both employees and recent park visitors. Most of the affected individuals spent time in Yosemite Valley during the first week of January 2020.
As of Thursday afternoon, there have been two confirmed cases of norovirus, according to a press release issued today by park officials. That release also stated there has been a significant decline of new cases reported over the past several days.
“Yosemite National Park officials and medical professionals with the National Park Service Office of Public Health (OPH) are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the illness and are continuing to conduct interviews with affected people. The overwhelming majority of the reported cases are consistent with norovirus,” the press release stated.
Norovirus spreads very easily, including through direct contact with an infected person, touching a surface or object contaminated with norovirus, or eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with norovirus.
Symptoms of norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure.
“Yosemite National Park, OPH and other public health agencies are working together, and in collaboration with park partners, to prevent additional illnesses. The Park continues to undertake extensive cleaning and enhanced sanitation protocols,” Thursday’s release also stated.
Park officials said an individual can help prevent norovirus transmission through the following actions:
- 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 would like to report information connected to a case of gastrointestinal illness can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.