Virus outbreak his two Canadian hospitals

Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- An outbreak of norovirus among patients and staffs at two hospitals in British Columbia has led to closures of some treatment units, medical authorities said.

Two Vancouver-area hospitals -- Royal Columbian Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital -- closed some units after identifying norovirus infections, CBC News reported Thursday.

An entire floor of the Royal Columbian facility was closed down after 12 patients and six staff members came down with the virus Wednesday, authorities said.

Symptoms of norovirus infections include a sudden onset of diarrhea and nausea, and the symptoms usually last an average of 24 hours.

"There is a new strain emerging this season and so we're seeing lots of norovirus in the community," said Elizabeth Brodkin, medical director of infection control for the publicly funded Fraser Health region.

One of two units closed by norovirus at Royal Columbian Hospital were expected to reopen Friday, but another ward at Vancouver General Hospital remains under containment, authorities said.

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