Thursday, 4:30 PM
Gastrointestinal illness sweeps through ward of Belmont hospital
By Stephen Smith, GLOBE STAFF
A wave of gastrointestinal illness swept a ward at McLean Hospital in Belmont last weekend, sickening 16 elderly psychiatric patients, hospital and state health authorities said Tuesday.
Disease trackers believe the McLean patients were stricken with norovirus, the same highly infectious germ that spawned nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in hundreds of elementary school and college students during the past three weeks, said Donna Rheaume, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
All but two of the McLean patients had recovered fully from the ailment by Tuesday afternoon. Those two patients were receiving fluids to combat dehydration and are expected to recover as well, hospital spokeswoman Cindy Lepore said.