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Sick at Stanford

CANDACE WU

news@pqbnews.com

An outbreak alert in a residential home in downtown Parksville saw five residents on quarantine and four staff members on sick leave.

Vancouver Island Health Authority declared the alert in Stanford Place Care Campus Jan. 13.

By Jan. 17 the alert was lifted.

VIHA spokesperson Sarah Plank said all five of the affected resident's symptoms have resolved.

"Our lab results came back negative for influenza," said Plank. "So the source of the outbreak was an influenza-like illness."

Though she maintains outbreaks are not uncommon this time of year, Plank still advises that "people avoid visiting" when outbreak alerts are active.

She said depending on the severity, outbreak alerts tend to see sick patients isolated, social activities stalled and a more rigorous cleaning process implemented. Additionally, visitors and workers are asked to wear gowns, gloves and masks while in the facility.

"We ask that people follow appropriate infection control measures when visiting," she said.

This year, health officials have been adamant that visitors either get a flu shot before visiting residential facilities, or wear face masks in an effort to decrease outbreaks like this one.

"Outbreaks are going on at any given time," said Plank. "Sometimes people bring them into our facilities unknowingly before they notice symptoms, which is why we always advise proper hygiene."

For more information on outbreaks in local residential care facilities visit http://www.viha.ca.

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