Vancouver Coastal Health is working with two Richmond hotels to contain what they believe is a norovirus outbreak.
VCH said they have not confirmed the number of staff and guests affected or the cause of the outbreak, but was told by hotel management that more than 100 people have reported illness at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel and the Hilton Vancouver Airport
The illness was first reported around May 5, according to an emailed statement from VCH spokesperson Carrie Stefanson.
The hotels voluntarily shut down services to begin disinfection. The cause of the outbreak is not known.
Sanjeet Sadana, general manager at the Hilton, told Black Press Media they reported a single case of the illness contacted by a staff member to VCH on Friday which prompted them to shutdown only their food and beverage service, but reopened all services Wednesday (May 15).
The Sheraton it is still currently closed, but would not disclose how the virus has affected current guests at the hotel.
Norovirus is a group of viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis, which is an infection of the stomach and intestine. Those who are exposed to a norovirus may experience symptoms of an upset stomach, vomiting and/or diarrhea within one to two days.
Norovirus can be found in the vomit and diarrhea of people who are sick. When someone vomits, people nearby may become infected by swallowing tiny droplets form the air.
The virus can also be spread of surfaces like countertops or sink taps, and if not properly cleaned can survive on surfaces for a long time.
There is no medication for norovirus. Those infected usually get better within a few days, however in severe cases, people may need treatment for dehydration.