Northern Health is advising Prince George residents that gastrointestinal illness is beginning to circulate in the community.
Patients and staff members at the University Hospital of Northern BC have been affected by the illness. Northern Health says visits to patients should be avoided at this time. If the visit is urgent, the health authority says you should only enter the hospital if you are feeling well. In addition, visitors with GI symptoms are advised not to visit patients until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.
Regional Manager of Public Affairs with Northern Health, Andrea Palmer says the situation is still ongoing. “People do still have symptoms and staff who have symptoms are staying home,” she said. “In hospital it is more than three people which is why we’ve been putting out this information and extra precautions.
Palmer continued, “there is signage all over the hospital at all the entrances, the cafeteria and the patient rooms as appropriate, just reminding people that if they’re not feeling well, we’d like them to reconsider their visit.”
Palmer says Northern Health has been dealing with the situation since last week, but things are improving. “What I can tell you is that previous patient cases with GI at UHNBC are all improved, so these are people who had symptoms last week.”
Gastrointestinal illness is often caused by Norovirus and is common for this time of year. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramps, chills, fever, vomiting and typically last for a day or two. The illness is however, highly contagious in nature and easily spread from person to person.
Northern Health says the best way to prevent GI starts with properly washing your hands, cleaning all surface areas, and staying at home if you are feeling sick.
For more information on gastrointestinal illness, visit www.healthlinkbc.ca or call 8-1-1.