Now Yellowstone Knows How Cruise Ships Feel

It's dealing with a norovirus outbreak
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2013 9:48 AM CDT
Now Yellowstone Knows How Cruise Ships Feel
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have been hit with a norovirus outbreak that has so far ailed 200.   (Shutterstock)

A highly contagious virus famed for striking cruise ships is now attacking those on some pretty prominent dry land: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Some 200 have been hit by the norovirus there so far, though tourists have gotten the longer end of the stick, with 150 employees and 50 guests sickened. While that's the tiniest fraction of the 5.5 million who visit the two parks annually, a Yellowstone rep tells the New York Times, "It's been almost a decade since we've seen anything on this scale here."

Officials say the gastrointestinal outbreak hit June 7, and employees have been scrubbing and sanitizing all surfaces since. But one visitor says he learned of the virus by chance this week. After he asked why the Yellowstone employees manning a breakfast buffet were wearing gloves, he got a casual reply: "Oh, it's because of the virus." The visitor wasn't thrilled, telling the Times, "If somebody comes to your house and you're sick, you tell them." The National Park Service warned visitors on Wednesday, via a statement, to wash their hands, while the Yellowstone rep told ABC News people should take care to properly store food while camping. (Stomach-turning factoid: The norovirus strikes 21 million people in the US each year.)

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