NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – Its symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, and it’s a highly contagious disease common this time of year.

Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster is dealing with an outbreak of the Norovirus.

Tasleem Juma with Fraser Health says 12 patients and 6 staff members caught the virus a few days ago.

“We are still dealing with two floors that have been closed due to the virus. This is a measure in order to contain the spread of the virus.  Patients are continuing to be discharged when they are ready to be sent home,” says Juma.

She says the quarantine will continue for at least three more days.

“As long as there are no new cases for the next 72 hours, then the outbreak can be declared over,” adds Juma.

To stop further spread of the Norovirus she says workers at the hospital are being extra careful.

“We are taking measures to enhance cleaning, to limit visitor hours, in and out access of rooms.  We encourage visitors who do come to hospital to wash their hands,” advises Juma.

If anyone has a bad case of the flu that doesn’t seem to go away, people are encouraged to go to emergency.