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Interview with David Forrest, Medical Director for infection and prevention for the central and north island talks about the Norwalk virus outbreak in Nanaimo hospital. Q: What is the latest on this outbreak? A: Well, we have had a large number of patients effected by the the Norwalk virus since the outbreak began on August 8th (2006). Many initially resulted in with a patient who came into our emergency department. Q: Is it getting worse? A: We have had ongoing cases in the hospital some of which are spread to people who are already sick, others are being introduced from outside we think. We still have patients coming into the emergency department with Norwalk infection, so we think there are a number of reasons why we are seeing cases in the hospital. Q: How many people have been effected? A: In total, since the outbreak began and not all related to the initial outbreak we have 27 patients who have been infected and a total of 14 staff. Q: How unusual is this outbreak to the ones in the past. A: Unfortunetly Norwalk infections are not unusual anymore, it used to be that Norwalk infections were quite seasonal, principally seen through the winter months but now the disease is prevalent year round and as you know there are outbreaks reported quite frequently on cruise ships year round and other enclosed facilities.
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