02/22/2014 19:40 EST | Updated 04/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Norwalk-like outbreak closes Langley gymnastics facility

A gymnastics facility in Langley, B.C., is closed this weekend after a number of users became ill with what appears to be a Norwalk-like virus.

In a letter sent to the facility's users and visitors early Saturday morning, the board of the Langley Gymnastics Foundation, whose gym is located at 7888 200th Street, said "in the last 24 hours, a serious gastroenteritis outbreak has occurred at LGF with a strong possibility that it may be Norwalk."

The Norwalk virus is easily spread, and is the best-known of the norovirus group. It can be passed on up to 48 hours after symptoms disappear.

Outbreaks of the Norwalk virus usually occur where a large number of people are confined to a relatively small space, and are known to affect camps, cruise ships, schools and nursing homes. Doctors say hand washing and sanitizing is the best method for preventing the spread of the virus. 

The Langley Gymnastics Foundation board said its facility would remain closed and all programs and classes would be cancelled at least through the weekend, to stop the spread of the virus and so that areas of the gym could be cleaned.

The Langley Events Centre, which is next to the gymnastics facility, remains open.

Jared Harman, spokesman for the events centre, said the Fraser Health was consulted to ensure there was no risk to members of the public attending events at the LEC's gym, arena or meeting spaces.

"In reviewing the situation and the venue it was determined that the remainder of the facility will remain open as it normally would and to continue to monitor the circumstances throughout the weekend," Harman said in a written statement.