MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release:

January 7, 2011

Norwalk outbreak restricts visitors on LHSC unit

LONDON, Ontario - London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reporting an outbreak of Norwalk on a unit at Victoria Hospital. LHSC has initiated visitor restrictions on a portion of the 5th floor inpatient unit (specifically D5-200 and D5-300), where five patients are experiencing Norwalk-like virus symptoms.

Symptoms typically involve an acute onset of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Headaches, low grade fever and muscle pains may also be present. Symptoms usually resolve within 24-48 hours, although cases are considered infectious for a further 48 hours.

Strict infection control measures are in place on the affected areas in the unit and patients are restricted to one visitor at a time.

Transmission is usually person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. Although the virus is rarely severe or fatal in healthy adults, patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities are particularly susceptible and can be compromised by the virus.

“London Health Sciences Centre is committed to ensuring a clean, safe environment for patients, visitors, staff and physicians,” says Dr. Michael John, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control. “Their protection is of paramount importance.”

Visitors who are experiencing signs of illness are asked not to enter the hospital.


About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

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For LHSC media inquiries, please contact:
Bärbel Hatje
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 75947
Barbel.Hatje@lhsc.on.ca

After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call

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Last Updated January 18, 2011 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada