CDC: More than 20 hikers contracted norovirus on Pacific Crest Trail in 2022

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Today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Authors publish reports of at least 27 cases of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) among Pacific Crest Trail hikers in August and September 2022, suggesting a possible norovirus outbreak on hikes that share toilets and huts The person is sick.

Social media is awash with 2022 Washington hikers, although only 27 hikers responded to a September 2022 REDCap survey posted on the Washington Pacific Crest Trail Hiker Favorite Facebook group and reported illness. A large number of AGE accounts in .

Investigators collected symptoms, location and contact information from survey responses from 27 sick Pacific Crest Trail hikers. Twenty (74%) respondents reported short-term illness (median duration 2.5 days), and 17 (22%) reported vomiting and diarrhea.

“Twenty-one (95%) survey respondents who reported onset date indicated that they became ill within 73 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington; suggesting the possibility of environmental exposure,” the authors wrote.

The difficult environment of controlling norovirus

Environmental sampling of two toilets, a cabin and a water station in October showed no E. coli or norovirus contamination, but “…epidemiological links all support the conclusion that the outbreak was primarily caused by norovirus , and exposure to contaminated surfaces indoors in cabins and VIP toilets may amplify transmission.”

The hiking environment is a difficult environment for norovirus to control, the authors said, noting the lack of easily accessible clean water and soap for handwashing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer, although common at campgrounds, is not effective against norovirus.

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