Experts advise precautions after typical annual rash of stomach ailments on Appalachian Trail

Experts on the Appalachian Trail said a handful of hikers in the Southern Appalachian region have come down with a stomach bug, and it’s a little earlier than usual. This is an unfortunate annual tradition on the AT.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy said a handful of hikers in the Smokies have come down with the stomach bug, with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. They say no tests have been done, so there’s no confirmation of norovirus cases.

Hikers said they’re taking measures to avoid getting infected. “Always use Purell before doing any eating, and just trying to stay away from shaking other people’s hands,” Chris Lussier, a hiker, said. “We got a thing out here…we don’t actually shake–we actually fist bump.”

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy also advised washing hands with soap and water, boiling or chemically disinfecting water and burying human waste at least 200 feet from a water source.

“They should avoid sharing water bottles and eating utensils and food and other personal items where they might touch the item and then touch their mouths,” Morgan Sommerville said.

Hikers also said they often avoid sharing food at shelters, and some sleep in tents or hammocks.

 

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