The gastrointestinal epidemic prompted staff at the Royal Inland hospital in Kamloops to stop receiving patients on three units in the building.
Internal health workers claim that 16 patients and 11 staff members have been affected on Tuesday by the digestive tract. In addition, an outbreak was reported at Hillside's adjacent psychiatric center, with seven patients and 13 staff members showing symptoms.
According to the outbreak response management plan, the Health Bureau of Internal Affairs said the hospitals did not accept patients on 4, World, 5 South and Seven on medical units experiencing outbreaks of illness. Patients on those wards waiting for a long-term care or auxiliary life facility will not be moved until the outbreak is completed.
Communications Consultant IH, Susan Duncan, said that three units are knocking adult patients with various medical conditions, but not post-surgical units.
Hillside continues to admit patients, Duncan said, pointing out that new arrivals are being pulled into an intact mouthpiece at the center.
She said the first reported gastrointestinal outbreak was reported on January 25, stating that an epidemic was declared when two or more patients were affected by the virus. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Duncan said the specimens were sent to the Disease Control Center to identify the virus responsible for the disease.
Duncan said the gastrointestinal epidemic was not uncommon because the situation in the hospital reflects what is happening in the community.
"We encourage people to practice the hygiene of their hands," Duncan said. "Hand washing is often a key factor in preventing the spread of the virus.
She said that each unit was treated individually, so that the outbreak could be declared completed in time. The epidemic usually lasts 96 hours, which includes two 48-hour incubation periods after reporting the last case.
Duncan said the health department stressed that precautionary measures taken could mean a congestion in emergency service. The public is advised that waiting at a doctor may be longer than normal.
People with non-occurrences should contact their family doctor or clinic. They can also stay at home and rest or consult a health care provider named Healthlink BC at 811. However, anyone who believes that they need urgent help should not hesitate to come to the hospital or call 911.
Health in the interior said that the epidemic has not yet caused the cancellation of surgical procedures, but the situation is being monitored.
Visitors are asked to stay at home if they do not feel good. Healthy people are allowed to visit, but may want to postpone their visit to the outbreak of the disease. Signs at the entrance of affected units advise that the outbreak is in progress so that people can take appropriate precautions.
Internal health workers have said that household maintenance has improved to focus on patient rooms, bathrooms, often touching areas and common areas. Staff members in epidemic units are advised to wear dresses, gloves and face protection during work with patients.
As always, staff, patients, and visitors often have to follow their hands.
Christopher Foulds, Kamloops This week
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