60°F
weather icon Clear

Yosemite confirms 2 cases of norovirus; 170 sickened at park

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Yosemite National Park is investigating about 170 reports of gastrointestinal illnesses and has confirmed two cases of norovirus, officials said Thursday.

The National Park Service began investigating after visitors and employees started reporting illnesses this month. Most cases occurred in early January.

“We’ve had very few the last week or so,” park spokesman Scott Gediman said. “We’re hoping that we’re over the hump.”

Norovirus is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with an infected person, touching a contaminated surface or eating or drinking contaminated food. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea and its symptoms are especially severe for elderly people, young children and people with health issues.

Most of those who reported becoming sick in Yosemite had symptoms consistent with norovirus, although some might have had food poisoning or the flu, Gediman said.

The origin of the outbreak was unclear. Park officials also haven’t determined whether people who became ill contracted something inside or outside of the park.

Most of the people who got sick had spent time in Yosemite Valley, where park offices, visitor services, snack shops, hotels and restaurants are clustered.

The park hasn’t tested food or facilities in the park for traces of norovirus, but Gediman said the park and its concession operators have been working to clean and disinfect public buildings, including the famous Ahwahnee Hotel.

Aramark, which operates the hotel, received numerous complaints from visitors about poor food quality, shuttle and other services since it began managing Yosemite’s concessions four years ago.

The company is working with the park to prevent future illnesses, Gediman said.

“They’ve been a great partner,” he said.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
New threats emerge in outbreak even as China voices optimism

The confidence voiced by China’s government came as it reported a reduced number of new infections. But doubts remained about the true trajectory of the epidemic as China again changed its method of counting and new threats emerged outside the country.

In 3rd day of deliberations, Weinstein jurors focus on Sciorra

Sciorra’s allegation is too old to be charged on its own because of the statute of limitations, but it’s a key component of the most serious charges that jurors are weighing in the closely watched #MeToo case.

Rapper Pop Smoke slain in Hollywood Hills, reports say

An up-and-coming rapper known as Pop Smoke was fatally shot during a break-in early Wednesday at a Hollywood Hills home, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing an unidentified law enforcement source.

Cases drop as China makes door-to-door effort in Wuhan

The city of Wuhan, where the new form of coronavirus emerged, was in the final day of a campaign to root out anyone with symptoms whom authorities may have missed so far.