Waveney health group tries to prevent spread of vomiting bug

John StammersChairman at Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group - HealthEast CIC

John StammersChairman at Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group - HealthEast CIC - Credit: Archant

As the weather gets colder, winter illnesses are expected to come to the fore.

The NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, known locally as HealthEast, is asking anyone planning to visit a hospital to stay away if they or their family have had diarrhoea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms in the last four days.

The request is designed to help keep the 'winter vomiting bug' or norovirus away from vulnerable patients and staff who could pass it on. Dr John Stammers, chairman of the CCG and a GP at Sole Bay Health Centre, said: 'People want to see friends and relatives in hospital as often as they can. However, by visiting while they're ill with a stomach bug, they can easily bring the virus into hospital. This can be particularly serious for people who are already ill or who have a long-term condition.'

Norovirus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly anywhere that people are gathered, such as schools or offices, especially during colder months. Dr Stammers added: 'We usually see higher levels of norovirus in autumn and winter, and it's really important to make sure that we protect vulnerable patients and hospital staff.

'This is why we're asking everyone considering visiting a friend or relative in hospital to think carefully about whether they need to come if they have experienced an upset stomach, diarrhoea or vomiting in the last four days.'

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If you have norovirus, the best thing you can do is rest, and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration. Don't visit your GP surgery or local A&E.

If you are worried about your symptoms you can ring NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacy. For more information and advice about winter illnesses, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

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