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Found this posted on the NPS Shenandoah website...
NOROVIRUS OUTBREAK (5-24-13)
There has been an outbreak of Norovirus among Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hikers. This highly contagious virus causes your stomach and/or intestines to become inflamed, which leads to stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
Norovirus is transmitted by contact with an infected person, contaminated food or water, or contaminated surfaces. The virus has a 12 to 48-hour incubation period and lasts 24 to 60 hours. Infected hikers may be contagious for 3 days to 2 weeks after recovery.
Outbreaks occur more often where people share untreated water sources and facilities for sleeping, dining, showering, and toileting. The virus can spread rapidly in crowded shelters and hostels.
Sanitation is key to avoiding and spreading Norovirus. Take the following steps to prevent contracting and spreading the illness:
- Treat all water by boiling, filtering, and/or treating with chemicals. To learn how best to treat your water, visit:www.cdc.gov/healthywater
- Do not eat out of the same food bag, share utensils, or drink from other hikers' water bottles.
- Wash your hands with biodegradable soap (200' from water sources) before eating or preparing food and after toileting.
- Be aware that alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be ineffective against Norovirus.
- Follow Leave No Trace guidelines for disposing of human waste. For best practices visit www.appalachiantrail.org/lnt
- For more information visit www.cdc.gov/norovirus