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Visitors with tummy bugs asked to stay away from hospital

Visitors to hospital are being asked to stay away if they are ill with vomiting or diarrhoea. The call comes after an outbreak of norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, temporarily closed Ward 14A at Southport and Formby District General Hospital over Christmas.

Andrew Chalmers, Consultant Nurse and Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “Norovirus is highly infectious and is circulating in the local community. “Patients’ friends and family who have symptoms of either diarrhoea or vomiting should not visit the hospital until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours. “Also, if the patient you want to visit has these symptoms, my advice is to delay your visit until their symptoms have resolved. In circumstances where this is not possible, please make arrangements in advance of visiting by telephoning the ward sister.”

Anyone who has experienced sickness or diarrhoea in the past 48 hours should stay away from hospitals and other healthcare providers, as either a visitor or a patient, except in a genuine medical emergency.

Symptoms of norovirus include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

Andrew added: “Norovirus is short-lived but very unpleasant. You don’t want it and our patients certainly don’t. If you’re affected, stay at home, drink plenty of fluids, wash your hands after using the toilet and prior to eating, and clean or disinfect contaminated surfaces.”

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