Aged care facility gastroenteritis outbreak

63 people at the Mayflower Aged Care Facility in Westmead have been diagnosed with gastroenteritis.

The facility was forced into lock-down on Thursday after 18 residents contracted the virus. By Monday 63 people were confirmed sick, among them one staff member. There are 146 residents at the facility.

Two residents have been taken to Westmead Hospital for treatment and observation. Gastroenteritis was a ”widespread problem” at the moment, the Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) said. Thirty facilities across the western Sydney were forced into lock-down in August.

”As with any outbreak of gastroenteritis, staff of the Mayflower advised the Public Health Unit about the outbreak and implemented infection control procedures to limit the spread of the virus,” said SWAHS’s medical officer in Communicable Disease and Immunisation, Dr Vicky Sheppeard.

”This involves enhanced personal hygiene, the isolation of affected residents, restricting visits from family members and friends, increased cleaning and keeping all parties informed of any developments.

”As we are dealing with a highly infectious virus, these measures are implemented to safeguard residents and staff and to prevent its further spread. We also urge infected people not to visit nursing homes until at least 48 hours after they have completely recovered,” said Dr Sheppeard.

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