An active outbreak of respiratory illness in the extended care wing at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital has prompted a warning to visitors.
Interior Health (IH) is asking all visitors to postpone entering Poplar Ridge Pavilion until the breakout is over.
“As with any outbreak, we have increased cleaning and limited contact between individuals who have symptoms with the broader population in the home, to avoid further spread of the illness,” IH spokesperson Karl Hardt told the Trail Times.
“We ask that loved ones consider postponing visits until the outbreak is over,” he said.
“Above all, we want to reduce the risk of further spread of illness to other individuals in care, as they are generally frail and more susceptible to serious complications of respiratory and other illnesses.”
Additionally, Hardt asks visitors who are sick themselves to avoid visiting a care home.
On Monday (Jan. 14) Poplar Ridge Pavilion was listed as “active” with an outbreak due to an “RI,” which refers to a respiratory infection.
A change in status remains tentative, as it depends upon the number of new cases that crop up within a certain timeframe.
“Our infection control and care home staff monitor things on a daily basis,” Hardt said.
“When a respiratory outbreak can be declared over, varies, between four and 14 days with no new cases,” he explained.
“And depends on a number of factors, including what the cause of the illness is and how severe the illness is. At this point, we have not had a new case since Jan. 15.”
Visitors who choose to enter the unit during the outbreak may be required to wear a gown, gloves and mask when caring for a loved one.
Additionally, Poplar residents may be encouraged to stay in their room, receive meals in their room, or be asked to sit at a separate table.
Information here: Interior Health FAQ
The outbreaks list on IH’s website is updated when new upsurges of respiratory or intestinal (Clostridium difficile) infections and/or gastrointestinal illnesses are active in a facility.
The “Active Facility Outbreaks” list includes all hospitals or long term care facilities within IH that either fall under the Hospital Act or are licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act.
RI’s are generally caused by viruses and bacteria.
Infections are spread when someone coughs or sneezes, and the droplets come in direct contact with mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, nose, or airway of another person.
These micro organisms can live on surfaces (such as countertops or doorknobs) and on hands and clothing, so it can easily be spread when a person touches something contaminated.
Symptoms include new or worsening cough and fever. Other symptoms may include weakness, runny nose, sore throat or headache.
Related story here: Flu shots available at Trail pharmacies