Just days after reporting an Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) outbreak on the male ward for severe intellectual disability at the Siu Lam Hospital (SLH) in Hong Kong, hospital officials are now reporting an outbreak of the gastrointestinal virus, norovirus.
According to a hospital spokesman Sunday, seven patients (aged 39 to 60) in a male ward for severe intellectual disability had presented with vomiting and diarrhea symptoms since February 27. Appropriate viral tests had been arranged for the patients and the test results of six patients were positive to Norovirus. The concerned patients are being treated under isolation with stable condition.
Admission to the ward has been suspended and restricted visiting has been imposed. Infection control measures have already been stepped up according to established guidelines. All other patients in the ward are under close surveillance.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.