Norovirus suspected in second Gisborne retirement village

By Gisborne Herald staff

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

An outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea, suspected to be caused by norovirus, has hit a second retirement village in Gisborne.

Thirteen residents and one staff member at Kiri Te Kanawa Retirement Village are affected by the bug, says Tairawhiti District Health medical officer of health Geoffrey Cramp.

A similar outbreak last week at Te Wiremu House was contained by a "lock-down''.

Dr Cramp says the first cases at Kiri Te Kanawa Retirement Village appeared earlier in the week.

TDH suspects norovirus is to blame but is awaiting confirmation from the hospital laboratory.

Management at the retirement village has restricted visits and is implementing infection control processes.

It follows recent outbreaks of the highly contagious bug in Northland and Tauranga.

The health protection team from Public Health has investigated the latest outbreak but is unable to confirm how it began.

Dr Cramp says norovirus is always circulating in communities and will flare up from time to time.

"Recent outbreaks underline the importance of not visiting friends and relatives and, in particular, those in hospital or rest homes if you have been sick. Wait until two days have passed and make sure you are symptom-free before visiting places where vulnerable people are gathered.''

There are no reports of any other new outbreaks.

"Norovirus is one of the last things we want to be brought into our hospital,'' says Dr Cramp.

"Anyone in our community who has been unwell should not visit the hospital until two days after they are better.''

Gisborne Hospital has hand-cleansing fluid for all visitors and staff to use as they enter the building.

"This is another way in which we can all help to reduce the risk of spreading this and other viruses into the hospital.''

- NZ Herald

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