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Norovirus Infects 45 at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital

An outbreak of norovirus among staff at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital led to temporary closure of the hospital's neurology clinic.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 11/5/2012, 9:17 AM

Hospital
Hospital
Flash90

An outbreak of norovirus among staff members at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital led to the temporary closure of the hospital's neurology clinic last week, CBC News reported.

About 45 employees came down with gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, cramps and fever, after eating food that the hospital believes was prepared by an in-house catering service that operates in the Café de L’Atrium, which is run by the hospital’s auxiliary.

The coffee shop operates independent of the hospital's main cafeteria.

"We closed the coffee shop immediately on Thursday afternoon," said hospital spokesman Glenn Nashen. "Tests were done all day Friday, and although nothing has been conclusive at this point, the suspicion is that [the virus] may have come from this catering service."

“Whether it was from the food or whether one of the food preparers had the gastro virus, I don’t think it is known yet,” Nashen added, according to the Montreal Gazette.

The outbreak forced the hospital to close its neurology department for half a day on Thursday and all day Friday.

Until the infection prevention and control team determines the specific cause of the outbreak, the coffee shop will remain closed, Nashen said.

At this point the virus was only detected among hospital staff. No patients or members of the public were reported to be infected.