Cowichan District Hospital is reporting an outbreak of norovirus.
Meribeth Burton, a spokeswoman for Island Health said that, as of Jan. 4, there were 10 patients with confirmed or suspected norovirus in the impacted area on the hospital’s second floor.
She said three staff members are also off with norovirus-like symptoms.
“We are limiting visits in the impacted area on the second floor to immediate family,” Burton said.
“All visitors are asked to practice hand-hygiene protocols while infection control efforts are underway. We have extra cleaning staff in place at the hospital and terminal cleanings have been implemented in the impacted areas. Staff who have been ill are not to report back to work until 48 hours after symptoms are gone.”
Norovirus is a common virus that is passed from person to person and causes diarrhea and vomiting in the community and in hospitals.
Most infections and outbreaks are seen during winter months.
The virus, which affects people of all ages, is easily spread in areas where there are large numbers of people together, like hospitals, for several days or more.
Symptoms of a norovirus infection will begin to show around 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected and may last from 12 to 60 hours.
It often starts with the sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Some people may also have a high temperature, headaches and aching limbs.
Most people make a full recovery in one to two days, however some, usually the young and old, may become very dehydrated and require hospital treatment.