Summerside long-term care home coping with full outbreak of RSV
Summerside's Wedgewood Manor has now declared a facility-wide outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the virus known as RSV.
A respiratory syncytial virus outbreak had been declared Tuesday affecting only one household at the manor, the Land household. As long as the wider outbreak lasts, each resident at the 76-bed facility can have only three partners-in-care, with only one of those present at a time.
Within Wedgewood Manor, group activities have been called off, residents can't freely mingle with each other, and staff are not moving from group to group.
Tara Ferguson, the provincial manager of infection prevention and control for Health P.E.I., said "fewer than 15" residents have tested positive for or are showing symptoms of RSV. It's marked by coughs, fevers and runny noses, similar to the signs of COVID-19 or influenza.
Those residents have been placed on "isolation precaution," she said.
"It's like any respiratory illness. They affect everybody differently," said Ferguson. "Our elderly are at a higher risk when they do get respiratory illnesses, so it can have negative outcomes, which is why we want to contain the transmission as soon as we can."
Ferguson said visitor restrictions will remain in place until the outbreak is declared over.
"Our goal is 10 days without transmission and so we try to have 10 days where we have no new positive cases. And that's usually our sign that we've stopped spread, so that we can release our measures."
We're blessed on P.E.I. to have extremely dedicated and hard-working staff, and every time we have an outbreak situation, they rise to the occasion. — Tara Ferguson
She said outbreaks of RSV are not common among seniors on the Island, calling this outbreak a reminder that people should stay home when they're not feeling well, and keep practising good hand hygiene.
"We're blessed on P.E.I. to have extremely dedicated and hard-working staff, and every time we have an outbreak situation, they rise to the occasion," Ferguson added.
"While they are tired, like any health-care worker is across the country, they are still coming to work, they're still giving their 110 per cent — and for that I will be eternally grateful."