VICTORIA, British Columbia, April 28 (UPI) — A respiratory illness outbreak caused the deaths of nine people at a long-term care facility in Canada, the Vancouver Island Health Authority says.
Nineteen people have contracted the illness since late March but the nine who died were elderly and five were already receiving palliative care, Canwest New Service reported Tuesday.
Testing is under way to identify the cause of the outbreak but influenza A and B and H1N1 have been ruled out, officials say.
“We take outbreaks in residential care facilities very seriously because the frail, elderly population is more susceptible to serious complications and even death from illness,” Dr. David Forrest of the Vancouver Island Health Authority told Canwest.
Forrest said the fact that staff members haven’t been affected suggest the illness is mild in most cases except for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
The outbreak occurred in the Chandler Unit of Glengarry Hospital in Victoria, a 140-bed facility.
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