Norovirus Warning

15 December 2010, 14:23 | Updated: 15 December 2010, 14:28

People are being discouraged from visiting patients at Eastbourne District General Hospital unless absolutely necessary following an outbreak of the diarrhoea and vomiting bug norovirus.

Some wards have been closed to new admissions and special measures have been put in place to contain the virus and reduce any potential spread.

There are a number of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting out in the local community around Eastbourne and the public are asked to help stop the virus spreading into the hospital.  

Anyone experiencing similar symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting are asked to refrain from visiting the hospital until they are free of symptoms for at least two days.

Those who must visit the hospital should ensure they use the alcohol gel dispensers situated at the ward entrances before and after visiting. On affected wards, we are recommending that only close friends and family visit patients. Information about which wards are affected can be found at the main reception desk and on the Trust website.

Norovirus is not dangerous in itself and is not uncommon at this time of year but it can be distressing for patients and can spread easily. It can also be debilitating for patients who may be elderly or who are weak because of another condition.

Staff are doing everything they can to try to prevent the spread of the virus to other patients. This includes isolating or segregating affected patients and making sure any staff who have the symptoms remain off work for 48 hours. There have also been increased infection control measures, such as extended use of alcohol hand gel by staff and using disposable gloves and aprons when treating affected patients.

Dr Barry Phillips, Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “Some patients currently have diarrhoea and vomiting and we are doing all we can to contain the situation. We have had reports from the wards affected that some visitors have had symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting within 48 hours of their visit. Therefore, we would like to remind the public to help in trying to prevent the further spread by refraining from visiting the hospital if they are unwell themselves or have had these symptoms within the last two days.”

The advice from doctors to those affected is to stay at home, drink lots of fluids and take paracetamol. Wash your hands regularly so you do not infect anyone else and stay at home two days after the symptoms have gone.