Outbreak of Norovirus plagues Vancouver Island Hospitals

There have been two outbreaks of the Norovirus on Vancouver Island in the first week of 2019.

The most recent outbreak is at the Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan. Three people are confirmed ill with the virus, and another seven patients and three staff members are suspected of being infected.

Meribeth Burton with the Vancouver Island Health Authority says the extremely contagious virus mostly spreads during the winter months. "It is a common virus, and it is spread person to person through either diarrhoea or vomiting. It's very unpleasant, and there's no antibiotics to treat it.  It generally runs it's course, and that course can be anywhere from 12 to 60 hours."

The first outbreak of the gastrointestinal virus of the New Year impacted 10 people at the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni. There was also an outbreak earlier in the winter at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Burton says the Cowichan District Hospital has brought in extra cleaning crews, and advises visitors to limit their time in the building.

She adds that people should be washing their hands thoroughly this time of year to avoid contracting any illnesses.

Contact Us

If you have a news tip, story idea or to reach a radio host, contact us here.