Germ-hit visitors asked to stay away

VISITORS are being asked to stay away from James Paget University Hospitals if they have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in order to protect patients from a widespread seasonal stomach bug.

VISITORS are being asked to stay away from James Paget University Hospitals if they have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in order to protect patients from a widespread seasonal stomach bug.

The warning has come after the hospital confirmed that it has been struck by two cases of the Norovirus infection.

Wendy Slaney, medical director at the James Paget University Hospital, said: 'We have confirmed cases of Norovirus on two wards. These wards are closed to new admissions and restrictions are in place for visitors to these wards. This is a routine precautionary measure to enable us to protect our patients by restricting the chances of people spreading this infection.'

This discovery has led to the hospital to ask its patients and all of its visitors to be extra vigilant.


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Norovirus, more commonly known as the winter diarrhoea and vomiting bug, is very infectious and can spread quickly through any close contact. The onset of the illness, which is a common cause of gastro-enteritis, is often sudden and severe with diarrhoea and/or "projectile" vomiting.

The symptoms normally last for between 24 and 48 hours, after which the person will feel lethargic. Most people including the frail elderly will make a complete recovery from Norovirus and there are no long-term effects.

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Patients are being reminded that they should tell hospital staff if they or anybody close to them are suffering from these symptoms, while visitors are being encouraged to be extra careful. This includes staying away if ill and only visiting one patient on one ward per visit, to help stop the spread of the Norovirus.

The illness is highly infectious and can be caught through direct contact, food and flat surfaces. Washing hands with soap and warm water after any contact is imperative.

Mrs Slaney said: 'We ask patients and all our visitors to be extra vigilant. Please do not visit the hospital if you have recently had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting or have been in close contact with someone who has over the past two days.

'We are also asking all visitors to wash their hands with soap and hot water when visiting a ward affected with Norovirus. Alcohol gel is effective against bacteria but not all viruses so hand washing as well as using the gel is really important.'

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