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Hospital gastro outbreak over

15 February 2006

Hospital gastro outbreak over

Routine admission and transfer of patients has resumed at Tauranga Hospital now that the gastroenteritis outbreak is over.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board Infectious Disease Physician, Dr Brian Dwyer, says that the outbreak that affected some services at Tauranga Hospital over the past week appears to be over.

“No further patients or staff have been reported to have gastroenteritis for more than four days, and the affected wards have been cleaned thoroughly,” said Dr Dwyer.

“The public is reminded that norovirus is highly infectious, but control is best achieved by strict hand washing after using a toilet and again before preparing or serving food,” said Dr Dwyer.

Dr Dwyer is urging families with members who may have gastroenteritis to avoid visiting friends and family in hospital while symptoms persist.

He has also requested that any rest homes and other facilities for the care of the elderly should notify the hospital if they have patients for transfer who may have gastroenteritis.

Tauranga Hospital General Manager, Alan Wilson, says the extra effort put in by hospital staff to control this outbreak, in particular the cleaners, health care assistants and nurses, is to be applauded.

The virus affected both patients and staff at Tauranga Hospital, and three wards were closed to new admissions with discharges and transfers from these wards restricted to prevent outbreaks in rest homes and other hospitals and to limit the outbreak within the hospital.

The outbreak was thought to be part of a nationwide outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis.


ENDS

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