Outbreak winding down at Interior Health facilities

Interior Health officials expect Kamloops patients and staff to be clear of sickness by Monday following more than a week of norovirus outbreaks.

The viral illness struck Royal Inland Hospital on Jan. 25 and, since then, more than 140 people — 77 patients and 64 staff members — in a variety of RIH and community facilities have become ill.

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Interior Health spokeswoman Susan Duncan told KTW operations are returning to normal at the hospital.

“At Royal Inland, four of the wards are no longer on outbreak and at two there have been no new cases, they’re just monitoring for it,” she said.

Those units still affected are 4North and 6North. One unit at Berwick on the Park, a seniors’ residence in Sahalim also remains under outbreak.

Duncan said 4North is expected to return to normal operations on Saturday, followed by 6North on Sunday and Berwick on the Park on Monday.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness that causes people to become ill for one to two days. It spreads easily, especially in densely populated facilities like hospitals. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Duncan said the best way to prevent norovirus is routine and thorough hand-washing, as well as cleaning following an illness.

Of the patients who fell ill during the outbreak, 33 were at Royal Inland Hospital, nine were at adjacent Hillside Centre and 35 were at community facilities not operated by Interior Health.

At RIH, 64 staffers fell ill, while nine workers at Hillside and 23 at community facilities were also affected.

A number of surgeries at RIH were cancelled last week due to the outbreak, but Duncan said surgical operations have returned to normal.

© Kamloops This Week


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