Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital is treating a number of patients who have contracted C. difficile.

"We are experiencing higher than expected numbers on the hospital’s seventh floor due to patients being admitted with the infection from other facilities and the community," the statement says.

Less than five C. difficile cases have been confirmed.

The patients are being admitted while the Windsor hospital is experiencing "significant patient overcapacity."

The hospital is advising the public to be extra vigilant in taking precautions before visiting the hospital.

Additional control measures were put into place immediately after the higher numbers were identified, the hospital said.

Patient travel on the seventh floor unit is being limited until it is clear that no new patients are coming down with an infection. Additional precautions are being used with all affected patients, meaning staff members are required to wear gloves and a gown whenever in contact with a symptomatic patient.

At the same time, HDGH is operating under a significant overcapacity concern. Patient volume reached 105 per cent this week and this morning, more than a dozen patients in the emergency room were waiting to be admitted to in-patient beds. There are 324 patient beds at HDGH.

The following recommendations are being given to visitors:

Limit visitation to two visitors per patient

  • Use alcohol-based hand rub immediately upon entrance to the unit, periodically when in the unit, and when exiting the unit.
  • Follow the same additional precautions as the hospital staff, which may include wearing gloves and a gown while visiting your loved one.
  • Visit a loved one only.
  • Children under 10 should only visit for compassionate reasons.

For most healthy people, C. difficile does not pose a health risk. Symptoms are usually mild but can range from mild or severe diarrhea to high fever, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain and dehydration.

The elderly and those with serious underlying illnesses are more likely to get an infection with C. difficile.