March 23, 2010
VICTORIA – It’s that time of year again, and Norovirus has arrived right on schedule. Health Officials are seeing an increase in Norovirus-like illness activity both in our facilities and in the community.
Over the past few weeks some VIHA owned and affiliate residential care facilities on Vancouver Island have had Norovirus outbreaks. Symptoms of Norovirus include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain and slight fever. The incubation period is 24-48 hours. The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for one to three days. It is transmitted by direct or indirect contact from contaminated hands and surfaces or by droplets when infected persons vomit.
This gastroenteritis illness is common at this time of year and the Vancouver Island Health Authority would like to remind members of the public that there are steps that can be taken to minimize the spread of this infectious virus.
- If you get sick and are usually healthy, stay at home. Generally, this virus can be managed at home with fluid replacement and rest. If however, a person becomes severely dehydrated, they should seek medical care.
- People with gastrointestinal symptoms should not visit anyone in hospital or another care setting, and should remain home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have resolved.
- If you are planning to visit a resident or patient in a facility that has Norovirus, you should consider postponing your visit until the outbreak has been declared over. If you do visit, check with the facility and follow the necessary infection control procedures, especially hand washing.
- Norovirus is not confined to institutional settings and can be transmitted at home, the workplace or at social gatherings. Thorough hand washing with soap and warm running water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of this virus.
- Individuals who have Norovirus-like symptoms should contact their family doctor or HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for help in determining the nature and urgency of their medical condition.
For more information about Norovirus, visit: