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Nine have died and 150 people have been infected as a norovirus outbreak swept through a Canadian care home.

Noroviruses are highly contagious and cause severe vomiting, cramps and diarrhoea. Although symptoms can clear in a matter of day’s officials say noroviruses are especially dangerous for vulnerable people such as the elderly.

‘For somebody who is elderly and in very fragile health, it’s a stress their body really cannot tolerate,’ said Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). He added that the risk of infection is significantly increased in confined settings such as hospitals, schools, cruise ships or care homes.

The outbreak, which occurred at the Selkirk Place care home in Victoria, Vancouver, is now under control. Though the cause is not yet known, it is thought a food source is most likely to have caused such a widespread initial outbreak.

The area has suffered from multiple outbreaks recently. Two summer camps on Vancouver Island were closed due to norovirus, and two hospitals in Vancouver had to quarantine wards due to infections in January.

A suspected norovirus outbreak also recently caused 26 passengers on a Qantas Chile to Sydney flight to be quarantined. The passengers, who were all part of the same tour group, were thought to have contracted the illness before they boarded the 14-hour flight.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates norovirus contributes to up to 71,000 hospitalisations and 800 deaths a year.

  • Typical alcohol based hand sanitisers DO NOT offer protection against norovirus – alcohol simply does not eliminate the germ. EcoHydra’s active ingredient effectively kills the norovirus bacteria which is essential for protecting confined settings such as hospitals, schools, cruise ships and care homes.

 

Written by PAUL WILSON — August 09, 2013

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