Vomiting bug strikes again

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A NUMBER of wards at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary have been shut due to another outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust is asking members of the public not to visit relatives and friends at the hospital in order to help control a second outbreak of norovirus, unless it is absolutely necessary.

The highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting bug affects up to a million people in the UK each year and is easily transmitted.

The bug affects schools, workplaces and other areas where groups of people are in close proximity, such as hospitals.

Visiting to the whole hospital has been curtailed to prevent the spread of the infection and to ensure safe patient care.

This is standard procedure to make it possible for NHS staff to deal quickly with an outbreak and return services to normal as soon as possible.

Unless it is an emergency, you should not visit the hospital at all if you have been sick or had diarrhoea in the last 48 hours or been in close contact with someone who has.

Those people who must visit because of an emergency should ensure they wash their hands with soap and water before entering the hospital.

Alcohol gel is not effective against norovirus.

Jackie Holt, Director of Nursing, UHMBT, said: “We need to take some simple precautions in order to protect our patients and limit the spread of these bugs.

“If you have any symptoms of a virus such as diarrhoea or vomiting, do not visit the hospital unless absolutely necessary.”

Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.