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Norwalk outbreak restricts visitors on University Hospital unit


For Immediate Release:
January 1, 2012


(LONDON, Ontario) – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reporting an outbreak of Norwalk on a unit at University Hospital. LHSC has initiated visitor restrictions on a portion of the 9th floor inpatient unit (specifically orthopaedics), where 11 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 48hours.

Strict infection control measures are in place on the affected areas in the unit and patients are restricted to two visitors 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 137 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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