Yosemite National Park in Central California is known for its magnificent waterfalls, but almost 200 recent visitors to the park will remember it for another reason. Many employees and visitors who spent time in the park in early January suffered personal injury when they contracted a gastrointestinal illness. Park officials say most of the victims reported symptoms suggesting norovirus, and some of those who became ill were diagnosed with the virus.
Investigations to identify the source of this highly infectious virus is ongoing. Norovirus can spread rapidly in various ways. Consuming food or beverages prepared by an infected person is one way of spreading the virus, but touching contaminated surfaces or direct contact with someone who is already infected can also cause infection. The symptoms typically appear 12 to 48 hours after the victim was exposed.
Enhanced sanitation procedures and extensive cleaning operations are underway to prevent further contamination. Health officials say frequent, proper hand washing can prevent contamination. Visitors to the park should avoid sharing drinks or food, and anyone who experiences symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness should refrain from interacting with others, stay hydrated and see a doctor.
Visitors to the park who contracted the illness might have questions about their legal rights to pursue damage recovery. An experienced California personal injury attorney can assess the circumstances and determine the viability of a civil lawsuit. The successful presentation of such a claim might lead to a monetary judgment to cover documented losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages as well as emotional damages like pain and suffering.