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Kelowna  

Outbreaks at seniors' homes

Outbreaks have been declared at two seniors' long-term care homes in the Central Okanagan.

Last Tuesday, a gastrointestinal illness outbreak was declared in the east wing of Kelowna's Mission Creek Landing, while a respiratory infection outbreak was declared in the Dobbin and Gellatly Units at West Kelowna's Village at Smith Creek facility last Wednesday.

Jennifer Jeyes, a communicable disease specialist with Interior Health, says an outbreak is declared whenever staff find more cases of an illness in a facility than they expect.

“Once we're notified, we work with the facility and get control measures implemented and then they're monitored daily,” Jeyes said.

“In the wintertime, outbreaks in facilities are expected. We do see outbreaks in facilities of both gastrointestinal illness and respiratory illness at this time of year.”

When an outbreak is declared at a facility, family and friends of residents at the home are usually asked to postpone their visits, while some measures are put in place within the home.

“Some of the control measures, and it will vary depending on the type of outbreak, will include people who are symptomatic are isolated, and there may be some reduction of mixing of residents from different parts of the facility,” Jeyes said. “There's a lot more cleaning that's done.”

The expected length of outbreaks at facilities is dependant on the type of outbreak and the control measures that are implemented.

In the Interior Health region, outbreaks have also been declared at care facilities in Keremeos, Trail and Fernie. 



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