Via Alberta Health Services: UPDATE: Gastrointestinal illness among Fort McMurray evacuees. Excerpt:
EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is responding to an increase in patients experiencing symptoms consistent with viral gastroenteritis at various evacuation/reception centres, around Alberta. Zones impacted, as of 4 p.m. Monday, May 9, are listed below.
Though this is not unexpected, given the large numbers of people who are using and living at these sites, AHS is actively working with evacuation/reception centres, to manage the increased numbers of ill people, and help prevent further spread of the illness.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, May 9, Zones experiencing clusters of gastro-intestinal illness include:
• Edmonton Zone: 105 cases
• Central Zone: 9 cases
• Calgary Zone: 4 cases
It is important to note that these evacuation/reception centres remain safe for all current and new residents.
AHS teams working to protect the health of individuals at these centres include Environmental Public Health staff, Infection Prevention and Control staff, Medical staff, EMS crews and Nurse Practitioners. Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link at 811, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to speak to a registered nurse.
Separate areas for housing of ill individuals at these centres are being explored/implemented, as possible, at each site. Additionally, washroom and shower facilities are being cleaned, access to hand sanitizer has been increased, and posters encouraging routine hand hygiene have also been developed.
To reduce the risk of spread, we urge all individuals to:
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after using the washroom; before and after eating or preparing food; and after changing diapers.
• Also use hand sanitizer provided.
• Do not prepare food for anyone, if you are ill.
• Do not visit family or loved ones at reception/evacuation centres if you are feeling ill. Please only visit if you are well.
Please note: because these outbreaks are evolving, this health advisory will remain in effect until further notice. AHS will provide daily updates on the GI illnesses at the reception/evacuation centres, after 4 p.m., daily, if and as updates are available or necessary.