A number of nursing homes in Tasmania’s north west have had gastroenteritis outbreaks but, according to the Health Department, there is no cause for alarm. Public Health deputy director, Dr Chrissie Pickin said gastro outbreaks have been happening around the state but that the Department has taken steps to stop the spread of gastroenteritis at the homes in question and prevent further infection.

“We intervene by re-emphasising the hygiene messages, isolating the individual residents, keeping the staff who are sick at home and closing the home to visitors,” said Dr Pickin.

“There have been a number of gastro outbreaks in a number of aged care facilities across the whole of Tasmania, it’s not that unusual,” said Dr Pickin. She also said that the number of outbreaks of gastroenteritis is lower in Tasmania this year when compared with 2008.

“In 2008 we had 25 gastro outbreaks and so far this year we’ve had 19,” said Dr Pickin.

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