Norovirus Hazard, Outbreak Yellowstone

gty_yellowstone_national_park_ll_130620_wgNorovirus Outbreak at Yellowstone Highlights Camping Health Hazards

Those heading on a camping trip this summer might want to be just as wary of crossing paths with the wrong bacteria as they would a hungry bear.

After 200 park employees and visitors reported bouts of gastrointestinal illness at Yellowstone National Park and nearby Grand Teton National Park this month, national park officials have warned visitors to be vigilant about hygiene.

The outbreak started on June 7, when a group touring the Mammoth Hot Springs complained of stomach flu and other gastrointestinal problems. After the tour group members reported their illnesses, about other 50 visitors and 150 park employees reported similar symptoms.

Preliminary reports found that they had norovirus, or “stomach flu,” which affects up to 21 million people, every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors Warn of New Stomach ‘Superbug’ Hitting U.S.

Al Mash, spokesman for Yellowstone National Park, said campers who were worried about the outbreak should take care to properly store their food and wash their hands with soap and water before eating. “Don’t rely on hand sanitizer. It’s good for a while if you don’t have access to water,” said Mash. “But sanitizer is a poor second to washing your hands.”

According to the CDC, the norovirus can be very contagious and is usually passed from contaminated surfaces or food.

Mash said that while it might be more difficult to wash hands before and after meals on camping trips, sporting goods stores sell soap slivers or biodegradable soap that can be used on camping trips. “My manta is be aware but not afraid,” said Mash.

Employees at Yellowstone and nearby Grand Teton park have been cleaning and disinfecting the areas where the illnesses were first reported. Yellowstone National Park regularly has 20,000 visitors a day.

The norovirus outbreak is just the latest one to hit the national parks. Last year, Yosemite National Park experienced an outbreak of the deadly hantavirus. Infection with hantavirus, often contracted through contact with contaminated mouse feces or urine, can lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which can be fatal, according to the CDC.

For Hantavirus Survivors, Yosemite a Painful Reminder

During last summer’s outbreak, eight people were sickened and three died. To stop the spread of disease the National Park Service tore down the buildings where the outbreak was centered and are currently trapping and testing mice for the hantavirus.

Kathy Kupper, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said if campers were worried about becoming sick they should be sure to check in with the park’s website or information line before they arrive. Any potential hazards from disease outbreaks from high concentrations of ticks, for example, will be listed in each national park’s newsletter or on its website.

“Always pay attention to the information. Don’t just take the [informational pamphlet] and throw it in the glove box,” said Kupper.

Kupper said the one piece of camping safety advice, which is most often forgotten, is to stay put if lost.

“Otherwise it’s like a wild goose chase,” said Kupper. “Stop moving. That way you’re conserving energy, and rescuers have a better chance to find you.



FREE E-BOOK!    FREE E-BOOK!    FREE E-BOOK!  MM900395744[1]

WT 1 cover B & W

Would you like to get a FREE copy of the first of the Wilderness Training series?

The Wilderness Training series is  based on the experiences of a certified wilderness leader who began hiking after receiving yet another new lease on life. You will be introduced to the amazing integration of hiking skills along with one’s spiritual walk, by incorporating the wilderness lessons learned as the results are played-out in stunning detail. Allow it to capture your heart and to shape the direction for your life. Wilderness Training will help you find joy and faith in everyday events and circumstances.

Wilderness Training the Novice includes over 50 color photos and will “introduce” you to the facinating Wilderness Training Series.



A) Simply leave your comment (press the About the Author tab under the page header, scroll down to the comment section) on how you heard about our free e-copy (limited) offer. Your answer does not affect the free offer, it’s informational only. 🙂

B) Leave your email address or website url that we can email your copy to. (Too shy? Feel free to email your e-address to: )

C) Share, share, share! The book is too good not to! Plus, your comments/review of the book at this site or at Facebook will be greatly appreciated!

Yup, that’s it. No perpetual sales requests, no obligation, absolutely free. You do not even need a fancy e-reader/tablet.

IT CAN NOT GET ANY EASIER!     Take advantage of this limited-time offer NOW!


“…I was able to review Marybeth’s book and it is extraordinary. I thouroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading the rest of her works. are exactly the same. Our passions and desires for God and leading people to Him are exactly the same. Her experiences and survival stories are a great example of God’s love in a believer’s life.”   – Jason Kinnan

“… Wilderness Training is a smooth, enjoyable read. As you are reading, it almost feels as though you are on the trail with Marybeth. The details of what she sees are vivid, and colorful, and form a picture in your mind’s eye that you can enjoy while reading.  Wilderness hiking, like life, is not without perils, and we get a good look at this as well.  The near misses Marybeth experiences are exciting and I found myself turning pages quickly as I wanted to see just what was going to happen next! … As Marybeth is sharing with the reader an enjoyable adventure on the trails, she is also sharing with the reader her faith in God. … You feel challenged in a way to get busy and do something about your own faith.”  – Greg Holt

 “I was engaged immediately. I can almost smell the pine trees with the vivid details and feel the awesome power of God through this captivating read.”  A. Keller

“Challenges the reader through colorful backpacking details, paralleling the physical complexity of hiking with spiritual testing and growth during ones Christian walk.”         M. Millers

“A high-voltage story of survival, a compelling, richly textured narrative!” TJ Ozbourne

“Insightful revelations to blaze your own trail.”  R. Baier

Hiking in Sol Duc River Valley