Bulkley Lodge still closed to visitors, public’s help sought with illness’ outbreak

Northern Health is asking for the public's continued support in containing the recent outbreak of the gastrointestinal illness that lead them to close the Bulkley Lodge to visitors.

  • Jan. 11, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Northern Health is asking for the public’s continued support in containing the recent outbreak of the gastrointestinal illness that lead them to close the Bulkley Lodge to visitors.

“That [illness] is not unexpected at this time of year,” Northern Health communications officer Eryn Collins said.

Gastrointestinal illness is known to cause a variety of symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever. About 80 per cent of the clusters seen around B.C. have been attributed to the Norovirus, one formerly called the Norwalk agent.

“It can be an inconvenience for a healthy adult, but it can be fatal in the frail and the elderly,” Collins said. “Anything that causes dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea is a concern for those who aren’t otherwise healthy.”

The closure of the Bulkley Lodge, which they hope will bring the communicable disease to an end, remains, but it’s the general public who they are asking be more aware of the outbreak.

“We’d really like to reinforce the need for people to stay at home when they’re not well, to not be visiting health care facilities if they’ve recently been sick with either gastrointestinal illness or a cold for that matter,” Collins said.

For those who are unwell with gastrointestinal, there is plenty of information at healthlinkbc.ca, Collins said. A general search for Norovirus will reveal typical symptoms, what to expect, what to do to help care for oneself as well as advice as to when it may be time to seek help from a health care facility. Or, she added, they can call 8-1-1 where people can speak with a registered nurse 24/7.