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Stomach bug outbreak at Fort McMurray wildfire evacuation centres declared over

About 40 to 50 presented with symptoms consistent with viral gastroenteritis at the Northlands reception centre in Edmonton over the weekend.
About 40 to 50 presented with symptoms consistent with viral gastroenteritis at the Northlands reception centre in Edmonton over the weekend. Global News

After 307 cases of gastro-intestinal illnesses were reported at evacuation centres between May 6 and June 1, health officials declared the outbreak over Monday.

Alberta Health Services said it was no longer seeing a spike in stomach illness connected to any evacuation or reception area related to the Fort McMurray wildfire.

Officials said the outbreaks were not unexpected given the large number of people using or living at the sites. However, AHS is reminding Albertans of steps to prevent the illness:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after using the washroom; before and after eating or preparing food; and after changing diapers;
  • Do not prepare food for anyone if you are ill;
  • Stay home from work, school or recreational activities if you are ill;
  • Do not visit family or loved ones at health care facilities if you are feeling ill. Please only visit if you are well.
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READ MORE: Health officials treating 1 person at Edmonton reception centre for viral stomach bug 

On May 9, health officials at the emergency reception centre at Northlands in Edmonton said they were treating just one active case of what appeared to be viral gastroenteritis.

David Aitken with the City of Edmonton said two people remained in the recovery area and Alberta Health Services officials believe things are going in the right direction.

At that time, three AHS zones were experiencing clusters of gastro-intestinal illness: