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Selkirk Place seniors’ home in Victoria on July 31, 2013.Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press

A norovirus outbreak at a seniors' home in Victoria is unusual for the way it hit the facility, but now "on the wane" after making 100 patients and 50 staff sick, and being suspected as the cause of nine deaths.

"It's on the wane. It seems to have been brought under control. There's very few new cases that are showing up. We have only 11 residents currently affected," said Sarah Plank, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

"It seems to be being brought under control," she said in an interview on Wednesday.

While there have been nine deaths since the outbreak began at Selkirk Place on July 11, Ms. Plank said they cannot yet be attributed to the virus pending further analysis.

The virus broke out with 40 people suddenly affected – a scenario that suggests a common exposure, said Ms. Plank.

"It's not unheard of, but it is unusual in the sense that a fairly significant number of people fell ill right away, which meant it spread to quite a few more people than it might have in a more typical outbreak situation."

Noroviruses are part of a group of viruses that cause the stomach flu, and the health authority says they are common in long-term care homes and are spread by people who don't wash their hands.

Ms. Plank said the outbreak prompted various measures, including extra cleaning, the cancellation of group activities and deterring unnecessary visitors.

Dr. Richard Stanwick, the chief medical health officer, says officials have been unable to identify a common source of exposure.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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