Stomach bug outbreak in mental health unit at Prince Albert hospital

Restrictions in place in Prince Albert hospital unit due to stomach bug outbreak.
Restrictions in place in Prince Albert hospital unit due to stomach bug outbreak. File / Global News

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A gastrointestinal illness outbreak has been declared at a mental health unit of a hospital in northern Saskatchewan. Access to the 29-bed adult inpatient unit at Victoria hospital in Prince Albert is restricted after two inpatients and one staff member began to show symptoms of a serious gastrointestinal illness over the weekend.

Restrictions are in place both for visitors and those being admitted to the unit. Signs are on access doors informing visitors of the situation.

Samples have been sent for laboratory testing to determine the organism causing the outbreak.

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Meanwhile, a similar outbreak at Parkland Integrated Health Centre in Shellbrook has been declared over.

Six inpatients and seven staff members had symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness. One laboratory test confirmed the presence of a norovirus.

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The Parkland Integrated Health Centre’s 24-hour Emergency Department remained open during the restrictions which were announced on Aug. 8.

The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is reminding the public that proper hand washing reduces the risk of getting or spreading gastrointestinal illnesses.

“Visitors to any health care facility are asked to perform hand hygiene upon entering and leaving the facility. Anyone who is ill is also asked to not visit any health care facility, whether it is on outbreak status or not,” the health region said Monday in a release.