OUR VIEW DEC. 5: Spread word about sickness earlier

It was not initially known if a bug at Boundary Hospital was norovirus but a warning to wash hands would've been good.

Editor’s note: It was later learned that two out of four cases at Boundary Hospital were norovirus.

A gastrointestinal bug has appeared at Boundary Hospital and Grand Forks.

As of press time, it is not known whether it is a norovirus or not but people are exhibiting similar symptoms, which include fever, chills, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea and not surprisingly  the virus can be found in the vomit and loose stools of people that are sick.

Norovirus, often referred to as the stomach flu or winter vomiting disease, isn’t uncommon and is said to occur in places like nursing homes, daycare centres and there have even been reports on cruise ships and trains.

People exhibiting symptoms at the hospital were isolated and staff members who had symptoms weren’t allowed to come in until they were free of symptoms for 48 hours.

Boundary Hospital did limit the amount of visitors last week and posted signs at the front door, and throughout the hospital, warning of the possible norovirus. It advised people not to visit if they felt ill but there was no bulletin of any sort sent out.

Granted, hospital staff said that testing was not complete and it is not known with 100 per cent certainty whether it was norovirus or not. Furthermore, a warning would have to come from public health.

Nevertheless, a bulletin saying that there are reported cases of people exhibiting symptoms of the norovirus and reminding people to take precautions, in this case wash hands properly, would have been appropriate.

The norovirus isn’t said to be too dangerous; as an entry at the Canadian government’s website said, it is unpleasant but self-limiting but based on the symptoms, it isn’t a good experience when people have it.

Anyone that has had cramps, dizziness, diarrhea or has vomited, knows that it isn’t fun, especially if experiencing all those symptoms at once.

The Grand Forks Gazette came upon the information of the possible norovirus through a tip and something should’ve been put out earlier advising people to be cautious.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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