By: Silvana Lezama - Sat, 05 Jan 2013 22:11:25 -0800
(BCN) A norovirus sickened 63 staff and
residents of The Redwoods residential care
facility in Mill Valley
since Dec. 24, the Marin
County Division of Public
Two residents over 85 years old with
"multiple medical conditions"were taken to Marin General
Hospital where they died,
supervising public health nurse Linda
Ferguson said. Four other people were hospitalized, public health officials said.
The highly contagious virus that results
in dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea
did not cause the deaths but can contribute to them, Ferguson said.
The greatest risk of death from the virus
is to the very young and very old, Ferguson said.
There have been three different outbreaks of norovirus in the last two months, the largest
one at The Redwoods, public health officials said.
"This particular outbreak is now
decreasing, and it is not unusual given the size of the
facility," Marin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis said.
Redwoods restricted visitors and gave gloves and masks to those who did visit, Ferguson said.
Group meals and activities were cancelled
and equipment was disinfected between use,
Staff at The Redwoods were assigned separately to those who
were ill and those were not, Ferguson
said her visit to The Redwoods today confirmed the virus is in its end stage. An
outbreak typically spikes a day or two after it first occurs, then decreases, Ferguson said.
There is no vaccine, and prevention,
especially by hand washing, is the key to limiting
its spread because the virus lives a long time on surfaces, Ferguson said.
The Redwoods has 300-325 residents in
different levels of care.
Some live independently
in apartments and some in one of two levels of assisted living housing,
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