Jun 24 2013, 4:54am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
Yellowstone National Park has just seen an epidemic arise in its midst. This happens to be one of the most common causes of gastrointestinal illness in North America. Termed the Norovirus, NPS states that the infection has spread to over 200 individuals. They are showing symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. It is tourist season in Yellowstone and the outbreak spells trouble. The most common ailment people have on cruise liners, Norovirus requires certain precautions. In order to prevent its spread from one person to another, hand washing is a must. After touching infected objects and especially before and after eating, hands must be washed with soap and water. Even anti-bacterial solutions are no guarantee.
The employees at various lodgings and hotels in Yellowstone have been meticulously cleaning rooms. The objective is to get rid of the virus. Many who serve buffet food have even taken to wearing rubber gloves. Some of the staff who is sick has been isolated from the rest of the healthy population. Besides Yellowstone, Gran Teton Park also drew large crowds many of whom fell ill thanks to the viral illness. Over three million people visit Yellowstone annually. The amount which fell ill this year was a significantly small proportion of the total. Nevertheless it was enough to merit some degree of worry among the administration.
The outbreak began on the 7th of June. It’s been over a decade since such a widespread epidemic invaded the park premises, according to CBS News. It seems there are more things than dangerous bears that people have to be wary of in the park. The current epidemic is a symptom of lack of personal hygiene as well. Of the 200 people who contracted the illness, 50 were guests. The Norovirus is also known as Stomach Flu. It affects more than 20 million people on an annual basis in the United States. The illness if left untreated can cause some very serious GIT symptoms.
Most gastrointestinal symptoms are the body’s method of getting rid of the bacteria or virus that has entered the human biological realm. However, not to use antibiotics or take preventative measures would be foolish in this day and age. Yellowstone will have to quarantine some of its staff members and clean up its act. Otherwise tourism may suffer.
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