Gastro bug at Dunedin rest-homes

Outbreaks of gastroenteritis have been reported at two Dunedin aged care facilities and families are being asked to limit visits.

Southern District Health Board communicable disease team leader Karen Beirne said incidents of gastroenteritis were reported at Redroofs Lifecare Home, in Maori Hill, on October 4, and Leslie Groves Rest Home, in Roslyn, on October 12.

To date there had been 42 people affected, she said.

''Norovirus has been confirmed at Redroofs and is being tested for in the Leslie Groves Rest Home.

''As is agreed practice, Public Health South is working with the facilities to bring the outbreaks under control.

''Families and visitors are being asked to limit visits to these facilities until notified otherwise.''

She said anyone who had diarrhoea and/or vomiting was advised to stay home until they were symptom-free for 48 hours, to prevent further spread of infection.

''If you or anyone around you is unwell, please pay particular attention to hand hygiene.

''Hands should be washed before handling, preparing and eating food; after going to the toilet and after changing nappies; and after coming into contact with a sick person.

''It takes 20 seconds to wash your hands properly. That's the same time it takes to sing Happy Birthday to Me twice.''

She said it was important to dry hands as well, because that completed the cleaning process.

''Alcohol-based hand sanitisers can be used in addition to hand-washing, but they should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water.''

If you are unwell and need medical advice, call your GP, or Healthline 0800 611-116.

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