A considerable number of patients currently residing in Dar Sant Anna, the home for the elderly in Victoria, Gozo, are affected with some form of stomach bug, The Malta Independent has learnt.
This newspaper is informed that the security personnel at the residence were told not to let anyone inside because of the high risk of contagion.
It turns out that out of the 100 residents, some 80 were affected by the bug, which is causing patients to experience stomach pain, vomiting and fever.
It appears the virus has been present in the residence for at least the last three days.
So far, it is not known if the outbreak is caused by the food or because of an airborne virus like gastritis. Sources say even a number of nurses had to go out on sick leave after they started experiencing the same kind of symptoms.
This newspaper is informed that food samples have been taken for testing, to determine whether the outbreak originated from the kitchens.
In December last year, Mater Dei and Karen Grech hospitals were also affected by a contagious virus. The Health Ministry had said that laboratory analysis had detected norovirus in samples taken from patients who had fallen ill. Norovirus is the commonest cause of winter vomiting or “gastric flu.”