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Due to the identification of 6 new cases of C. Difficile and 3 cases of undiagnosed gastroenteritis, Toronto Western Hospital's 8B unit is closed to both new admissions and visitors until further notice. All 8B patients are being closely monitored for possible signs of C. Difficile and gastroenteritis and are being treated accordingly.
The decision to close to TWH 8B visitors is a precaution due to the not yet diagnosed gastroenteritis symptoms that have emerged. We recognize restricting visitors is challenging for everyone, but it is necessary to help prevent the spread to staff, patients and visitors. Only palliative patients on 8B will be allowed visitors at this time.
UHN has special procedures in place to prevent further spread of infection, including additional cleanings of the unit, equipment and patient rooms and Contact Precautions. All staff that work on 8B or care for patients from 8B are required to follow Contact Precautions:
C. Difficile is a bacterium that can produce symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. C. Difficile can be found in the large bowel of some people and certain individuals, especially the elderly, people hospitalized for long periods or people with other serious illnesses, have a greater risk of developing C. Difficile diarrhea. Though UHN maintains a high level of daily cleaning on all patient units, C. Difficile is a very hardy germ and spores can survive for long periods on environmental surfaces making it easily transferred by touching items that have the bacterium on them and then touching your mouth. Viruses that cause gastroenteritis are also spread this way. Gastroenteritis can cause sudden nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps and low-grade fever in otherwise healthy individuals with symptoms lasting from 12 - 60 hours. More information on C. Difficile and gastroenteritis can be found under Health Information on UHN.ca.
Hand washing is your best defense against spreading bacteria. While it's difficult to predict how long the outbreak will last, if everyone follows Contact Precautions and is vigilant about good hand washing, the greater the likelihood the outbreak will be brought under control quickly.
We thank you for your support and will update you on the status of the outbreak.