Norovirus outbreaks force quarantines at 2 hospitals
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013 8:44AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:31PM PST
Wards at two Metro Vancouver hospitals were put under quarantine Wednesday due to outbreaks of the highly-contagious norovirus.
Officials said a dozen patients and six staff members at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster have been infected with the virus, which causes flu-like symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.
Two floors have been shut down, including the general medicine and older adult units, while the emergency room has not been affected. The hospital is undergoing extensive cleaning and officials are urging anyone with symptoms not to visit patients.
Meanwhile, an outbreak of the virus closed a ward and floor at Vancouver General Hospital. A spokesperson for Vancouver Coastal Health said patients in both areas are mainly long-term, but did not confirm how many have been infected.
Officials said the virus is more prevalent at this time of year, and those who fall ill should frequently wash their hands and stay home if they’re sick.