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Archived - Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Illness at Emerald Lake Lodge, Yoho National Park

Starting date:
May 28, 2004
Posting date:
May 28, 2004
Type of communication:
Source of recall:
Health Canada
General Public
Identification number:

Health Canada, Parks Canada and regional health authorities are currently monitoring and investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal (GI) illness at a private hotel in Yoho National Park, British Columbia.

On May 25, Health Canada, Parks Canada and regional health authorities became aware of elevated levels of gastrointestinal illness associated with individuals that either worked, visited or stayed at the Emerald Lake Lodge. About 150 cases have been identified to date. The cause of the outbreak has not been confirmed. Health Canada in cooperation with Parks Canada and Emerald Lake Lodge have been working to identify the source of the outbreak and prevent the spread of the illness.

Symptoms may include severe vomiting and diarrhea. Generally the illness typically lasts from one to several days. However, the illness may be more severe for the elderly, those with debilitating health conditions, and the very young. The illness may be transmitted through contaminated water or food or through environmental contamination. Preliminary results indicate that drinking water may be the source of the illness. As a result, there is a boil water advisory in effect at Emerald Lake Lodge. It is advised that the public not drink water from the Lodge unless it is boiled or that bottled water be used.


Health Canada strongly recommends that individuals who worked, visited or stayed at the Emerald Lake Lodge after May 19 and who are experiencing severe GI symptoms should contact their local health authority and see a physician.

Travellers are reminded that they should wash their hands after using the bathroom and before handling food, as hand-washing breaks the chain of transmission for the spread of the disease.

Health Canada, Parks Canada and regional health authorities will continue to monitor and investigate the situation. The federal and provincial governments view the health and safety of Canadians and travellers to Canada as paramount. All measures necessary to preserve health will be implemented.

Media enquiries

Tamara Magnan
Health Canada
(780) 495-4688