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New gastro cases at Tauranga Hospital

22 February 2006

New gastro cases at Tauranga Hospital

More than one week after Tauranga Hospital has been cleared of gastroenteritis, the virus has reappeared, causing the hospital to close Ward Four to new admissions and transfers.

Tauranga Hospital Infection Control Coordinator, Adrienne Stewart, says that it is most likely that someone brought the bug back into the hospital, and despite the hospital's strict infection control measures, this has caused another small outbreak in a different ward.

The gastroenteritis that has hit the hospital again has also been prevalent in the community.

"The public is reminded that norovirus is highly infectious, but control is best achieved by isolation while experiencing symptoms, followed by strict hand washing after using a toilet and again before preparing or serving food," says Mrs Stewart.

"People in the community who have caught the virus should not return to work or school until they have been without symptoms for 48 hours to help prevent passing the bug on to others."

The hospital is urging families with members who may have gastroenteritis to avoid visiting friends and family in hospital while symptoms persist. It has also requested that any rest homes and other facilities for the care of the elderly currently experiencing an outbreak should notify the hospital if they have patients for transfer.

Tauranga Hospital General Manager, Alan Wilson, says that elective surgery patients will be accommodated in other surgical/medical wards in the interim, and patients from Ward Four will be discharged home in due course.

"To prevent spreading the virus there will be no discharges to rest homes or transfers to other wards or hospitals from Ward Four," says Mr Wilson.


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