Norovirus lands at Delta Hospital
A new strain of the nasty norovirus is wreaking havoc at hospitals across the Lower Mainland, including Delta Hospital.
The "very contagious" gastrointestinal infection causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Officials have battled norovirus outbreaks already at Royal Columbian, Eagle Ridge and Vancouver General hospitals, prompting some ward closures.
While norovirus has been reported at Delta Hospital, Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said it is not being considered an outbreak at this time.
No wards have yet been closed at Delta Hospital, however it could become a possibility if the virus spreads.
"We expect to restrict access to certain wards in the future if it worsens, " Juma said. "This will be an ongoing issue for the next few months.
Norovirus changes its form every few years, resulting in more cases than usual.
"Many people don't have immunity to this new strain," said Juma. "This is a very unpleasant virus but it usually passes within 24 to 48 hours."
Juma said ward closures due to norovirus are very normal each winter.
Anyone who gets the flu or norovirus is urged to stay home, get rest and drink plenty of liquids.
Aggressive hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of either illness and norovirus-contaminated surfaces should be cleaned swiftly with hot, soapy water and then disinfected with a household disinfectant.
Besides taking care to cover coughs and sneezes, officials recommend regular cleaning of frequently touched objects, such as doorknobs and remote controls.