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200 Catch Norovirus at Wyoming Natl. Parks

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June 20, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

Magnified image of a norovirus. Photo courtesy of Photobucket

The National Park Service and businesses serving park visitors are taking precautions to limit the spread of gastrointestinal illness in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

The precautions include more cleaning and disinfection of public areas, such as stores, gift shops, restaurants and lodging facilities. Potentially infected employees are also being isolated until they have been symptom-free for at least 72 hours, the Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle reported.

On June 7, several members of a tour group arrived in Mammoth Hot Springs complaining of stomach flu and other symptoms. Within 48 hours, several employees whose jobs place them in direct contact with visitors reported similar symptoms.

Tests on some sick people indicated they had norovirus, which is the country’s most common cause of acute gastroenteritis.

In the past week, more sick visitors and employees have been reported at Yellowstone and Grand Teton. To date, those reports include more than 100 suspected cases of norovirus among employees in Yellowstone and about 50 suspected cases among employees in Grand Teton. Fifty visitors also went to medical clinics in Yellowstone with symptoms of gastrointestinal illness.

The National Park Service urges visitors to wash their hands often while on vacation.

 

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