Visitors urged to remain vigilant over norovirus

By Ian Dipple Thursday 03 January 2013 Updated: 04/01 08:58

SOME visitors are failing to heed warnings about staying away from the county's hospitals after being affected by the winter diarrhoea and vomiting bug.

Hospital bosses say although the vast majority of people are following advice issued, which is helping them bring norovirus under control, there are still cases where relatives or friends who have had the bug have brought it into hospital because they have not stayed away for the required 48 hours to ensure they are clear of the infection.

Although no wards are closed, norovirus is still present in the county's hospitals and visiting is restricted to immediate family members only and a maximum of two visitors per patient at any one time. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital, is also asking no-one under 16 visits any hospital to prevent the bug spreading from schools, nurseries and playgroups.

Helen Blanchard, chief nursing officer, said: "Norovirus is very common during the winter months. We would continue to ask anyone with any symptoms of norovirus infection such as diarrhoea and/or vomiting to stay at home and not come to the hospital until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours."

There is no treatment for norovirus other than allowing it to run its course. Advice includes drinking plenty of fluids, washing hands thoroughly after using the toilet, not preparing food until 48 hours after symptoms have subsided, not sharing towels and flannels and disinfecting surfaces.

Contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice or if symptoms do not quickly subside.

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