Nursing home given the all-clear after gastro outbreak

CRISIS OVER: Staff and residents of Gracehaven Aged Care Services breathe a sigh of relief to know that an outbreak of gastro has been contained. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
CRISIS OVER: Staff and residents of Gracehaven Aged Care Services breathe a sigh of relief to know that an outbreak of gastro has been contained. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

A BUNDABERG aged care facility has received the all-clear from the public health unit following an outbreak of gastro that affected 35 residents and 27 staff.

Two staff members and one resident also contracted norovirus - a strand of gastro that causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

The outbreak struck Gracehaven Aged Care Facility on August 14 and was still in quarantine with limited access allowed to the facility until Monday.

"The staff did a great job in containing the outbreak," service manager Hazel Lindholm said.

"It could have been a lot worse."

For the 11 days the facility was under quarantine, families and new admissions were prevented from entering the service until the outbreak was contained.

Residential Aged Care general manager Bryan Mason said the facility was grateful to the families and community for being understanding.

"I commend the staff of Gracehaven for their work during the outbreak; we could be dealing with a much worse situation if they had not worked so hard to contain it," he said.

"It is now business as usual, with family able to again visit their loved ones.

"We will continue to monitor residents for any signs of the virus."

The service deployed "bacteria bombs" in its fight against the dangerous virus that swept the facility - a new best-practice infection control solution used across Churches of Christ Care for the past 12 months.

Mr Mason said the bombs had received "exceptional results" for the health and wellbeing of clients in the past.

The bombs release a fog which permeates through all surfaces and furnishings in a room, including down drains and plugholes.

They attack dangerous pathogens including norovirus and H1N1 influenza, with no bacteria remaining following a treatment.

"The bombs, which we use in conjunction with normal scrubbing of floors and surfaces as part of infection control procedures, offer cost and time benefits eliminating the need for staff to wash the curtains, bedding and clothing for each resident in each room, which is particularly time consuming and inefficient during an outbreak situation," Mr Mason said.

Norovirus is otherwise known as winter gastro, stomach flu, winter vomiting, viral gastro or gastric flu.

Symptoms of the virus included nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Topics:  gastro virus

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