St. Mary’s Gastrointestinal Outbreak Declared Over on Fifth Floor General Medicine Unit

April 21st, 2014

Kitchener, ON (April 21, 2014) – St. Mary’s General Hospital, in partnership with Waterloo Region Public Health, has declared an end to the gastrointestinal outbreak which began April 14 on its Fifth Floor General Medicine unit.

Patients on the affected unit had been restricted to one visitor at a time during the outbreak. That restriction has now been lifted, and regular visiting regulations (two visitors per patient) have now been restored. The outbreak of vomiting and/or diarrhea affected six patients in total, two are believed to have come into hospital with the illness, and four acquired it in hospital. All patients have all since recovered or are well on their way to recovery. Seven staff also became ill during the outbreak and are recovering. 

“On behalf of St. Mary’s, I’d like to thank community members for respecting the visiting restrictions and their continued use of good judgement when visiting,” says Sandra Hett, Vice-President Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “We respect that these visiting restrictions are often difficult for our patients. As well, we thank our staff, physicians and volunteers across the entire hospital who have gone above and beyond to help contain the outbreak and protect the health and safety of everyone at St. Mary’s.” 

“For the safety of our patients and staff at all times, it is essential that you not visit if you are feeling ill, or have been in contact with someone who has gastrointestinal illness symptoms during the past 48 hours,” says Dr. William Ciccotelli, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology at St. Mary’s.  “This request applies regardless of whether we are in an outbreak situation, and extends to other illnesses such as colds and flu.” 




Previous Update

 April 17, 2014 (Kitchener) This afternoon St. Mary’s will reopen half of the fifth floor to new admissions and transfers. There is currently just one patient with symptoms of the gastrointestinal illness on the half of the unit that remains closed as a precaution.

Visitor restrictions of one patient per visitor at a time will continue on the closed end of the unit; on the other end, the usual regulation of two visitors per patient will be in effect.

With the long weekend approaching, we will continue to monitor this outbreak and provide an update if there is a significant change in events that impact staff, patients or visitors, such as the outbreak being declared over, or if the scope of the outbreak expands. Appropriate infection control measures and enhanced cleaning remains in place, and visitors are asked not to come to the hospital if they have symptoms of a stomach illness, particularly vomiting and/or diarrhea, or if they have visited anyone with these symptoms in the past 48 hours. 



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Anne Kelly

519-749-6578, ext. 1501