HELP US KEEP THE HOSPITAL FREE FROM NOROVIRUS
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has appealed to local people to help keep the hospital’s wards as free as possible from the Norovirus bug this winter
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has appealed to local people to help keep the hospital’s wards as free as possible from the Norovirus bug this winter.
Dr Sandra Dimmock, Medical Director, said: “We are now entering the time of year when diarrhoea and vomiting, often called ‘winter vomiting’ becomes particularly common.
“Winter vomiting disease is often caused by Norovirus infection which is the most frequent cause of infectious gastroenteritis and affects approximately one million people in the UK every year.
“Norovirus causes a very unpleasant but generally short-lived illness from which people will usually recover without treatment. The main symptom is vomiting, which can come on very suddenly, and is often accompanied by diarrhoea. Some people may have a raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs.
“If you do have these symptoms the advice is very simple: do not visit loved ones in hospital until you have been free of symptoms for at least 72 hours.
“Norovirus is a particular problem for hospitals because we are looking after already unwell people who may have reduced immunity and are susceptible to infection.
“In most cases there is no benefit in people with this type of gastrointestinal infection being in hospital if they do not have some other more serious condition. They should stay at home and take plenty of fluids until they are free of symptoms for 72 hours. If the illness persists for more than a few days, they should contact their family doctor by phone or take advice from NHS
“We are working very hard to identify and contain any cases of Norovirus in our hospitals and ensure that as far as possible the illness is not communicated to other patients. When we have cases we may have to close bays or wards, restrict visiting and ask children to stay away from affected areas. We are grateful for the visitors’ co-operation and understanding when we have to do this. Excellent hand hygiene by staff, patients and visitors is particularly important in controlling the spread of infection, and we do appeal once again for people with possible Norovirus symptoms to please stay away.”