B.C. Children’s Hospital is working to contain a norovirus outbreak in the oncology department that has affected three young cancer patients.
Provincial Health Services Authority spokesperson Angela Wilson said three children are in stable condition Sunday after they exhibited gastrointestinal illness symptoms.
The patients have been isolated as a precaution and the virus appears to be contained, Wilson said.
Visitor restrictions are in place for the time being.
Other patients from different departments at the hospital have also been isolated due to the situation and it is not known how long the restrictions will be in place.
Anita Kersbergen said her daughter, Stacy, who has been in and out of the hospital due to complications from appendicitis, has been quarantined as a precaution due to norovirus symptoms.
“The hospital has placed her under quarantine as a safety precaution in case she has contracted the virus, or to keep her safe in case she hasn’t,” Kersbergen said.
Norovirus causes vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain and is transmitted through contaminated food, water and by person-to-person contact. Those infected generally recover in one or two days, but the virus can be more serious in young children, the elderly and people with other health conditions.
While the source of the outbreak is unknown, Wilson said the virus is a common occurrence in community facilities such as daycares and schools.
Wilson said that frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of norovirus.