Norovirus outbreak in two P.E.I. manors

Teresa Wright twright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 18, 2014
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.