No Visits to Nazareth House Next Week!

Nazareth House is on a “lock down” of sorts because of an outbreak of Norovirus, a nasty stomach bug that is especially hard on older people.  We won’t be training or visiting until the outbreak is over. We will let you know when we’ve got the all clear to come back.

Here’s a letter from Nazareth House about the outbreak:

Dear Residents and Family Members:

For the past few days we have been dealing with an outbreak of norovirus at Nazareth House. We appreciate your concern and patience during this time and we hope the following information may be of help to you.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal virus, often referred to as “stomach flu”. The accompanying symptoms may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and low grade fever and they generally last one to two days. Outbreaks are not uncommon and can become epidemic during the winter and early spring. The virus makes its rounds in San Diego every few years. Long term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to this virus because residents and staff are in frequent contact with each other throughout the day. Like many other long term care facilities in the San Diego area we have had to implement preventive measures to control the spread of this virus among our residents.

The County of San Diego Department of Public Health has developed comprehensive guidelines for dealing with norovirus in institutional settings. We are in frequent contact with the department and appreciate the advice and assistance provided by their Public Health Nurses.

There is probably little that can be done to prevent the initial introduction of the virus, since an infected caregiver or visitor may be shedding the virus even before they are ill, or may never become symptomatic. Interrupting person-to-person transmission is the best way to limit the extent of the outbreak. For this reason we instituted immediate isolation measures once we suspected that the virus was present in the House. We asked friends and family members not to visit, we cancelled all group activities, and we asked residents to remain in their rooms.

The illness is generally mild although it may be more severe in the elderly who are more likely to have complicating conditions like illness, weakness or dehydration. For this reason we continue to maintain strict preventive measures and are providing our ill residents with the extra care they need.

We hope to resume normal activity at Nazareth House as soon as possible. We will notify you as soon as restrictions on visiting are lifted. Please feel free to call us with any questions at 619-563-0480 or 619-563-0140.

Thank you once again for your patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara-Anne Crowley 

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