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Published On: Wed, Jul 31st, 2013

Norovirus outbreak sickens dozens in Victoria nursing home, may have contributed to nine deaths

An outbreak of the gastrointestinal disease, norovirus, has been confirmed in a Victoria nursing home that resulted in scores of patients and staff becoming ill since July 11, according to the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Norovirus  Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

The outbreak at the Selkirk Place care facility has sickened about 100 residents of the home and some 50 staff members, CTV News reports.

In addition, nine residents of the senior’s home have died; however, the exact cause of death has not been determined. Health officials say that norovirus may have contributed to the deaths.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu. This is not influenza or the flu, which is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typicallyspread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

The highly contagious norovirus is the second leading infectious cause of gastroenteritis-associated deaths accounting for 800 annually. Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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