View Full Version : Virus Attacks Grand Canyon Visitors

09-22-2005, 10:13 AM
Updated: 08:14 AM EDT
100 Sickened on Grand Canyon River Tours

PHOENIX (Sept. 21) - Authorities are trying to determine the source of tainted food that has sickened about 100 people on Colorado River tour boat trips through the Grand Canyon during the past month.

The gastrointestinal illness has affected tourists on 12 different trips with five tour companies, all based in Utah, said Adam Kramer, a public-health specialist for the National Park Service.

A stool sample tested positive for norovirus, the family of common viruses that have sickened many cruise ship passengers, Kramer said. The viruses cause intestinal distress that typically last for 24 to 48 hours.

Most of the victims appeared to have gotten sick at the beginning of the trips, and one person had to be airlifted from inside the canyon because of complications, he said. The trips last up to two weeks if participants follow the full route of more than 200 miles from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead.

The investigation was focusing on meat products in warehouses owned by the river-tour companies, said Barbara Worgess, Coconino County health services director.

Colorado River trips attract about 25,000 visitors a year.

09/21/05 11:33 EDT