Hospital Asks For Help Against Norovirus

20 January 2011, 05:00

One of our hosptials is telling us not to visit if we have had symptoms of the winter vomitting bug in the last two days.

People are asked to avoid visiting James Paget University Hospital if they have had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the previous 48 hours to protect patients from a seasonal stomach bug.

The hospital says that norovirus, more commonly known as the 'winter vomiting bug', is very infectious and can spread quickly through close contact.

They are asking people with symptoms of unexplained, sudden onset diarrhoea and/or vomiting not to present themselves for initial treatment at its Accident and Emergency department - they should first contact their GP or out-of-hours service or phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for advice.

Those due to come into the hospital for an operation or appointment and who have the symptoms should phone ahead to let the nursing staff know and to receive further advice.

We are asking visitors to remember the following:
 - please do not visit if you have diarrhoea and/or vomiting

 - When visiting wards affected with diarrhoea &/or vomiting ( yellow information posters will be displayed at the entrance of the ward),it is necessary to  wash your hands with soap and water when you enter and leave the ward

 - On unaffected wards always use the alcohol hand rubs provided before and after visiting patients

 - visitors must be extra careful not to carry infection in or out of the ward areas. When you visit please go to only one patient on one ward per visit to help stop the spread of Norovirus.

Linda Hawtin, Head of Infection Prevention and Control at the Trust, said: "We strongly urge people with symptoms to avoid visiting the hospital until these have completely settled for two days. If a visitor has recently had diarrhoea and/or vomiting and consider they must visit we ask that they phone ahead to the ward for advice.

We are committed to controlling the spread of infections in our hospital and have a dedicated and highly skilled infection control team that ensures all staff are aware of the symptoms and control measures for this virus.

Our Trust laboratory technicians can quickly confirm whether or not a patient has got Norovirus diarrhoea. Knowing this at an early stage allows us to take prompt action to minimise the spread of the virus if infection is confirmed.

However it's just as important for members of the public to work with us to help prevent the spread of Norovirus.

It comes just a week after the West Suffolk hospital in Bury St Edmunds had to close two of it's wards to new admissions after some patients started getting ill.