An outbreak from a yet-to-be-confirmed virus has infected at least 118 people visiting the Grand Canyon since May. It’s believed that norovirus is the root cause, though researchers are still looking for a definite answer. And while there are no reported deaths, helicopters have had to fly in for rescue missions.
Arizona hiker Kristi Key described one instance of a rescue in the Facebook group Grand Canyon Hikers. About four miles into Boucher Trail, she spotted four hikers who were on their last day out. Two had been vomiting “pretty violently the night before” while one other looked sick as well. The hikers said they didn’t need Key to call a rescue using her Garmin SOS (there’s no cell service), but after she headed back the group was in the same spot and still throwing up so she called in the rescue. She stayed with two of the hikers for hours until the helicopter arrived and picked up the sickest man while the rest finished the hike back out.