Official health survey related to gastrointestinal illness on the PCT in the Big Bear region

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has asked us to share a health survey related to reports of gastrointestinal illness on or near the PCT in the Big Bear region starting around the week of April 29th, 2024. If you have hiked the PCT in the area during that time, please fill out this survey so health officials can work to identify the source of the infection. Both ill and not ill individuals are asked to fill out the survey as it may contribute in narrowing down the pathogen and/or source.

For the purposes of this survey, the Pacific Crest Trail Big Bear region is defined as Interstate 10 (Mile 209) to Interstate 15 (Mile 342).

According to the website, your information provided will be kept confidential and used only for the purpose of conducting this public health investigation.

Sand to Snow National Monument. Photo by Mark Bruening

Additional resources to stay safe and reduce the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses:

At this time, PCTA is not aware of a determination that norovirus is the cause of this illness, but this information is practical advice that applies to many potential pathogens.

If you become sick with a gastrointestinal illness

Drink plenty of fluids and wash hands often. Seek medical treatment, especially if you become dehydrated or illness lasts more than a few days. Avoid contaminating common areas and surfaces. Stay home and/or away from others for two days after symptoms stop. If you are on trail, make sure that you are disposing of your waste properly.

Advice for those on the trail this year

  • Wash your hands frequently with biodegradable soap at least 200 feet from water sources.
  • Boil or chemically treat water if you are worried about norovirus. Most filters do not remove viruses but can be used effectively in combination with chemical disinfection against a broad range of pathogens.
  • Avoid sharing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid potentially contaminated common areas and surfaces.

Link to the survey

If you hiked the PCT in the Big Bear region starting around the week of April 29th, 2024, please consider taking the survey whether you were ill or ill not.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.