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Soap and water . . . Proper hand washing is imperative during the Norovirus outbreak of gastroenteritis circulating throughout the community. PHOTO: JENNY DILLNER

An outbreak of norovirus has been confirmed at Windsor Park Care Home.

Bupa Head of Clinical Service Improvement Katherine Foulkes said the home had notified the Southern District Health Board and its infection prevention and control specialist was working with Public Health South to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.

A norovirus outbreak is also causing gastroenteritis to be circulating throughout the Gore community.

Gore Health’s quality improvement manager, Glenda Maxwell said it was imperative that to keep the virus contained, handwashing was vital.

“Norovirus is particularly contagious and transferred not only by touch, it is also airborne.”

“Handwashing has to be with soap and water, not hand gel.”

Symptoms of the virus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever.

“If anyone has these symptoms they need to stay at home, drink plenty of fluids, eat a plain diet and stay away from work, school or anywhere until 48 hours clear.

It was also recommended that any visitors with symptoms not visit any elderly care residents or the hospital until 48 hours clear, Mrs Maxwell said.

The rest-homes in the district were aware of the virus and were taking precautions to ensure the wellbeing of their residents.

Ms Foulkes is asking the public to postpone non-essential visits to the Windsor Park Care Home.

“Family members who are experiencing gastro symptoms are asked to postpone their visits until they have passed 48 hours with no further symptoms.

“Residents displaying gastro symptoms have been asked to refrain from group activities and communal areas to protect others.

“For essential visits please take precautions as guided by the care home team,” Ms Foulkes said.