Nearly 200 'violently ill' after illness 'consistent with norovirus' outbreak at Yosemite National Park
NEARLY 200 people have been struck down by an outbreak of a highly-contagious illness ‘consistent with norovirus’ at Yosemite National Park. Those affected after visiting the tourist sp…Jon Lockett Invalid Date, NEARLY 200 people have been struck down by an outbreak of a highly-contagious illness 'consistent with norovirus' at Yosemite National Park. Those affected after visiting the tourist spot - in Sierra Nevada mountains - have been left violently ill with some suffering severe vomiting and chronic diarrhea. 1 Officials at Yosemite National Park are now investigating the outbreak Credit: Alamy The exact origin of the outbreak is still unclear and park officials still don't know whether those who became ill contracted something inside or outside the popular park. However, most of the sick had spent time in Yosemite Valley during or around the first week in January, said park spokesman Scott Gediman. So far, only two of the sick have actually been confirmed as suffering from the virus. Yosemite and national park health officials are now investigating the outbreak, he also revealed. Gediman added: "The overwhelming majority of the reported cases are consistent with norovirus. “We’ve had very few the last week or so....we’re hoping that we’re over the hump.” What is norovirus? Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK and is also referred to as “the winter vomiting bug”, although it can affect people all year round. It is very unpleasant but it usually clears itself up in a few days. The virus easily spreads around public places and is transmitted when a tiny particle of vomit or poo from an infected person gets into someone else’s mouth. That sounds a bit gross and unlikely but it can happen – in particular when you touch a contaminated surface and then put your hand in your mouth - or if you eat food which has been contaminated. You can also catch it if you are in close proximity to an infected person and they breathe on you. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes norovirus as a highly-contagious stomach illness, spread by contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces. Gediman said Yosemite was now undertaking "extensive cleaning and enhanced sanitation protocols" following the outbreak. In 2017, roughly 190 students from Santa Monica were reported to have been infected with norovirus after taking a trip to Yosemite. And in 2012, an outbreak of hantavirus, which is spread mostly by rodents, infected 10 people and killed three. LATEST IN US NEWS Read more: The Sun
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