GI outbreak in McBride

by EVAN MATTHEWS

The McBride Hospital is experiencing a Gastro Intestinal Illness (GI) outbreak, but McBride residents shouldn’t panic.

Northern Health defines an outbreak as three or more potentially related cases occurring within a four-day period in a specific geographic area, which in this case is in the McBride hospital.

Northern Health Spokesperson Andrea Palmer confirmed to the Goat that both staff and patients have experienced symptoms.

As a result, Northern Health is asking the community to avoid visiting McBride Hospital patients for the time being.

Symptoms of GI are usually minor and comparable to food poisoning or the flu, including nausea, abdominal cramps, chills, fever, vomiting and diarrhea, according to a Northern Health press release, and while symptoms usually only last a couple of days, the virus is easily spread from person-to-person.

“We strongly implore that visitors with recent GI symptoms not visit patients until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours,” says Palmer.

GI is often caused by Norovirus, which is common this time of year, according to Northern Health.

Noroviruses causes inflammation of the stomach and large intestine lining, according to webmd.com, and are often mistaken for food poisoning. Norovirus is also commonly confused with the flu, though it isn’t an influenza virus.

In order to prevent the spread of the GI, Northern Health is advising community members to stay home if they’re feeling sick, washing their hands thoroughly and often, and cleaning surface areas such as door knobs, faucets, phones, handrails, etc.

The pharmacy inside the hospital is still open for business as per their regular business hours, according to Northern Health.

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