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The Norovirus outbreak at The Ottawa Hospital is now over

March 22, 2012 The Norovirus outbreak reported at The Ottawa Hospital is now over. We do remind you, however, that at this time of year, increased cases of Norovirus circulate in the community and can affect schools, hospitals, day care centres and long term care facilities, and anywhere groups of people gather. To avoid infection with Norovirus, we recommend that you continue to:

  1. Wash your hands frequently
  2. Stay home from school or work if you are ill
  3. Avoid visiting people in hospital or long-term care homes when ill

If you think you have Norovirus the following will help you and help prevent others from getting sick with Norovirus:

  1. Stay home and rest for at least 48 hours after your vomiting and diarrhea have resolved and you feel well
  2. Do not prepare or handle food that will be eaten by others

For more information:
Hazel Harding, Communications Advisor
The Ottawa Hospital

Public Health Information Line
City of Ottawa

Background – Norovirus

Norovirus is a well known “Small round-structured virus” that circulates rapidly through groups of people. It is transmitted by direct contact with the virus, either through contaminated hands, or possibly through droplet spread during vomiting. It can also be transmitted in contaminated food and drink, and ingested directly. It takes less than 100 virus particles to result in illness (it has been suggested that it may take as few as ten virus particles), and so infection is easily transmitted from person to person.

The main symptoms of Norovirus infection begin approximately 24-48 hours after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. A low grade fever may occur and dehydration is possible. The illness usually lasts from one day to three days; however, Norovirus can be spread for up to two days after the symptoms stop, and some people may carry the virus for up to two weeks after the symptoms end.

For more information, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website at