Hospital staff and patients have fallen ill as both campuses of the Ottawa Hospital deal with a spreading norovirus outbreak.

"It's a small but hearty virus," said Dr. Virginia Roth of the Ottawa Hospital. "It's very contagious."

In the last week, 46 hospital employees and 14 patients have been infected by norovirus.

It's a temporary virus that causes flu-like symptoms. Some of the warning signs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

Hospital officials say the virus broke out in the cardiology and kidney disease unit of the General Campus. Affected patients have been put in isolation.

To avoid infection, hospital officials recommend frequent handwashing, staying home from school or work if you're ill, and avoiding visiting people in hospital or long-term care homes if you're sick.

For more information visit the Ottawa Public Health website here.  

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefanie Masotti