Bridgepoint Health, a prominent hospital in Toronto for people with chronic diseases was shut down on Valentine's Day following an outbreak of the Norwalk virus. Diane Whidden, a spokesperson for the hospital, said about 50 people including staff have been affected.
The hospital usually has hundreds of patients, most of them bedridden with limited mobility. However, now there are 20 active cases only in a capacity of 500-beds.
The hospital is expected to resume normal functioning by next week. Norwalk viruses cause winter vomiting disease, acute viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning and stomach flu. Stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and weakness are the symptoms of being infected.
The virus was first discovered when a group of school children in Norwalk, Ohio reported a mysterious infection that resembled stomach flu, in the 1970s. It is highly contagious and spreads through contaminated water or food or can be transmitted from person to person by direct contact.
As there is no cure it is advised to adopt precautionary measures including complete hand sanitization and wearing gowns and gloves.