Gastroenteritis outbreak hits patients and staff

August 3, 2009

Taranaki Base Hospital continues to strive to contain an outbreak of Norovirus in ward 5.

Fourteen patients in Ward 5 (general medical) have fallen ill with vomiting and/or diarrhea though only 5 remain symptomatic, 11 staff have also been struck down with the illness. The ward has been closed to everyone except essential staff and visitors.

TDHB Hospital Operations Manager Steve Berendsen says ward staff, Public Health and Infection Control are monitoring the situation. “We are doing everything we can to prevent this illness spreading to anyone else,” he said. “It is challenging with so many staff affected and we are very grateful to all the staff that are working to cover those off sick.”

“As a result of the outbreak we have had to postpone seven elective surgeries so far,” he said. This will be reviewed day to day but it very likely that further surgery will be put off. Anyone affected by these postponements will be contacted by the hospital.

Mr Berendsen says members of the public who have had vomiting or diarrhoea, or who have visited someone with these symptoms, should not visit the hospital until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.

Visitors are asked to ring Ward 5 before arriving. If the visit is essential, they will be asked to wear appropriate protective clothing.

Members of the public should ring Healthline on 0800 611 116 if they require medical advice.

Good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of this highly contagious illness. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with warm soapy water then dry them for another 20 seconds.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph. 021 367 789

Last updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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