Norovirus outbreak in two P.E.I. manors

Teresa Wright
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Transmission electron micrograph of noroviruses. The bar = 50 nm.Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Two manors in Prince Edward Island are recovering from recent outbreaks of the norovirus, but health officials say the illnesses are under control.

Deputy chief health officer Dr. David Sabapathy says one of the lab-confirmed outbreaks is over and the other is winding down.

“Norovirus is a group of viruses that spread throughout the community, especially this time of year, so it’s not surprising that we have a couple of outbreaks especially in winter here,” Sabapathy said.

“There's not any particular cause, just mostly the season that we’re in.”

Officials would not release the names of the manors affected by the outbreaks and were also not able to provide the number of confirmed cases.

Sabapathy did say he does not believe there were any deaths or hospitalizations associated with the outbreaks.

“The facilities in question have a set of infection prevention control guidelines that they follow, and those precautions were put in place, transmission was limited to the initial people who were affected and they’ve followed all the procedures.”

Norovirus is a common virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting in humans. It is named after the original Norwalk virus and Norwalk-like viruses.

Symptoms usually have a sudden onset and are transmitted person-to-person or through food. A low-grade fever may occur and dehydration is possible.

The illness usually lasts 24 to 48 hours, but the virus can be spread for up to 48 hours after symptoms stop. Symptoms usually appear 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus.


Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Norwalk

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Recent comments

  • Excuse me?
    March 19, 2014 - 08:24

    Officials would not release the names of the manors affected by the outbreaks and were also not able to provide the number of confirmed cases. Officials SHOULD release the names of the manors affected so people would not go to these manors while the problem is ongoing. And how can you not be able to provide the numbers? If there are say 30 people in a manor & some are sick, then you simply count the numbers.

  • Jane Doe
    March 18, 2014 - 22:09

    Well Richard, there is a thing in healthcare called confidentiality. A manor is not the same as a hospital, it is considered a residents home. If you were a family member, or frequent visitor of one of the manors effected I'm sure you would be aware of the outbreak and encouraged to stay home, or if visiting practice good infection control measures.

  • Richard
    March 18, 2014 - 18:22

    I am surprised the Guardian would publish a serious health story like this without stating which facilities are affected. In the interest of public safety I think it would be important for the public to know which facilities one should avoid visiting until the outbreak is over. Is it the Guardian staff or the Govt of PEI that decided NOT to publish the names of the manors? Anytime a cruise ship has an outbreak of Norovirus the whole world knows which ship is affected. I will not avoid going on a ship that previously had an outbreak because after the outbreak they are likely more vigilant at preventing a further outbreak. I would be surprised that the journalist who broke this story did not know which manors the outbreak occurred in. Why not publish the whole story??