Guyra's McLean Care Kolora facility quarantined after gastro outbreak

FACILITY: McLean Care Kolora is closed to visitors due to a gastroenteritis outbreak. Photo McLean Care.
FACILITY: McLean Care Kolora is closed to visitors due to a gastroenteritis outbreak. Photo McLean Care.

Guyra's McLean Care Kolora facility is in quarantine after several residents fell ill with gastroenteritis (stomach flu) yesterday.

"We are in restricted access," facilities manager Melissa Scott said. "We're asking that nobody come in, and our residents aren't going out."

Five residents have been diagnosed with the virus. The facility has isolated the unwell people, and closed off the facility to outsiders.

Family and friends, visitors, and community people could bring in more of the virus, or a different virus, Ms Scott explained.

"We would appreciate it if [the public] don't try to visit our facility until we let them know it's all clear," Ms Scott said.

Gastroenteritis is an infection or inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms can include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain and cramps, fever, and general unwellness, including tiredness and body aches.

Symptoms of norovirus develop within three days. The virus is highly contagious by both direct contact and air, Ms Scott said.

Sufferers may transmit the virus one to two days before their own symptoms appear, and they are still contagious until 48 hours after their last symptoms disappear.

"Elderly people and children are particularly susceptible to the more severe complications of both gastroenteritis and influenza." Sarah Wade, General Manager Residential Services at McLean Care, said.

McLean Care said it had specific protocols to ensure its residents received the highest level of care, and that gastro was not uncommon in the aged care industry.

The virus was brought into Kolora from outside, Ms Scott said, which means that it is in the community.

She reminded the public that their best course of defence was to carefully wash their hands - whether at home, or when touching trolleys or handling goods in a shop.

"If people protect themselves, when they visit Kolora, they will protect our residents," she said.

The facility has contacted the families of any infected residents, and will maintain open communication with them about their health and wellbeing. Concerned family members are invited to contact McLean Care for further information and updates. Call 6779 1922.