Gastrointestinal Outbreak In Two Seniors’ Residences in Laval Quebec

More than a hundred seniors have remained in quarantine at two seniors’ residences in Laval this week, due to a gastrointestinal epidemic possibly caused by contaminated frozen raspberries.

“This situation was first discovered in another center that served its residents with frozen frozen raspberries of Chinese origin,” Guy Vaillancourt, director of care for the Residency of L’Éden, said in a letter sent to residents’ families this week.

“Given the fact that we have several employees working in two locations, the virus would have entered this way with us,” he continues, without indicating which other center or where Employees of Eden.

The private facility for the elderly located in Laval prohibited visits since Monday, to contain the contagion that affects about 35 patients and some employees. The place where 142 people lived however reopened yesterday.

“The situation is now under control, there has just been a new case [Thursday],” says the Director of Care at the Journal .

Gastro is also a victim of L’Angelus, a residence for the elderly with cognitive deficits a few kilometers away, where no visits have been allowed since the beginning of the week.

During the passage of the Journal , an employee, who prefers to shut her name, assured that about half of the fifty residents have fallen ill since last week. However, the origin of the epidemic is not known.

Recall of raspberries

Frozen raw raspberries from China have been the subject of numerous reminders in Canada since early summer due to contamination of noroviruses, mainly responsible for gastroenteritis.

Several cases associated with the consumption of food containing these raspberries were recently reported to the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), which issued reminders on June 23 and 28, July 27 for products like cakes and mousses.

The MAPAQ says it knows about the presence of gastrointestinal tract in the two centers of Laval, but is not able to indicate the origin of the epidemic for the moment.

“It is confirmed that there were interventions in both establishments, but, on our side, there is no link that could be established with the recall of raspberries,” explains the spokesperson, Mélissa Lapointe.

The same goes for the Laval Integrated Health and Social Services Center.

“We can not say that raspberries are involved. It may just be a gastrointestinal, “said spokesman Pierre-Yves Séguin.

“This is not the period”

Nevertheless, the management of the Residence of the Eden affirms that it is rare to see the spread of this disease in summer.

“Normally, at this time of year, there is no gastro. This is not the period, “assures Mr. Vaillancourt, who says that no frozen raspberries are served in his center.

According to him, the closure of seniors’ residences to prevent the spread of diseases is not an exceptional measure and occurs at least once a year.

Consult the site of the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for a list of frozen raspberry products that have been recalled.



Noroviruses cause gastroenteritis, a condition that is normally accompanied by vomiting and / or diarrhea. Since they are highly contagious, they can spread easily from one person to another.

Infections can occur:

  • By direct contact with another infected person
  • By touching surfaces or objects contaminated with a norovirus
  • By consuming contaminated food or drinking water

Some people can remain contagious even two weeks after they recover.

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About the Author: Geoff Serka

Geoff is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the nation’s most respected and credible publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, she is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children.