KITCHENER -- A gastrointestinal outbreak at a community hospital has been confirmed as norovirus but has since been declared over.

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance first declared the outbreak at Seaforth Community Hospital on Jan. 9.

One week later, they confirmed the norovirus and continue to encourage cautionary measures.

"If you are sick we are urging you to reconsider visiting any patients in any areas of our hospitals at any time, unless it is for compassionate or palliative reasons," said Larry Morrell, an Infection Control Practitioner. "Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort.

"Norovirus is sometimes referred to as the 'stomach flu' but is not related to the influenza virus."

The infection has been known to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cases of headaches and stomach cramps in more severe cases.

The outbreak has affected the Inpatient Unit, which has closed to admissions. Affected patients are being isolated until the outbreak ends.

HPHA encourages thorough handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, washing used clothes and linens, and avoiding cooking food if someone is or believes they are infected.

The outbreak was declared over on Jan. 20.