Norovirus Shuts Wards At West Suffolk Hospital

Two wards at the West Suffolk hospital have been closed to new patients, after twelve people showed signs of norovirus.

The G4 ward was shut on Christmas Day after seven patients showed symptoms of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus. That number has now reduced to three.

Hospital bosses then made the decision to close the F3 ward today (29 December) after five patients showed symptoms.

Portable sinks, which makes it easier for visitors to wash their hands with soap and water, have been set up outside both wards for people who are arriving and leaving to use.

Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at West Suffolk Hospital, said: "Norovirus is very infectious and every year there are cases in the community which transfer to the hospital. Because the virus has an incubation period of several days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.

"We would advise anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting to stay away from the hospital for at least 72 hours after they have recovered, even if they feel better. Otherwise they run the risk of unknowingly passing the highly contagious illness on to someone who is already sick.

"Anyone who visits the hospital should be vigilant and take care to clean their hands. If they are visiting the affected wards, they should use the portable sinks to wash their hands with soap and water when they arrive and before they leave as the alcohol gel is not effective against this virus."

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