Gastrointestinal outbreak at The Lodge on 4th is over

Three staff members at the Ladysmith lodge were sick, but no residents were affected.

A recent outbreak at a local Ladysmith lodge forced three members of staff to stay off work.

A gastrointestinal outbreak at The Lodge on 4th left three staff members feeling under the weather to begin 2014.

“None of our residents were affected, but we did have three staff members off their work,” said Joanne McMurray, director of care at The Lodge. “The outbreak lasted six days.”

As of Jan. 7, the outbreak ended and The Lodge is now open for visiting again.

The Lodge is a care facility looking after people in need of care 24 hours a day.

“Our three staff members had symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting,” said McMurray. “It was a virus that was going around and something people can just pick up when they’re out shopping, say.”

Val Wilson from Island Health confirmed that no form of influenza was involved in this particular outbreak.

“Any outbreak at a facility on Vancouver Island is posted on our website,” she said.

Ladysmith resident Frank Sutherland’s wife is at The Lodge, and he says, initially, there was a sense of confusion with regards to the outbreak.

“I was initially told stomach flu and then it might have been a norwalk virus. They were totally unprepared,” said Sutherland. “I actually felt sorry for the staff as they didn’t know what was going on  and some were believing something and others believing something else.

“It was unbelievable. My wife has been in four of these establishments now and we’ve had this before. They’ve got to be more prepared.”