Hospital sickness virus on the wane

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Hospital chiefs are winning the battle to fend off the winter vomiting bug that struck before Christmas.

At its height eight wards were closed at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Mexborough Montagu Hospital.

But stringent hygiene, and advice for visitors to take precautions against bringing the norovirus into hospital, have seen a dramatic improvement in the situation over the past few days.

By yesterday there was only one ward fully closed at the Armthorpe Road site.

There were no new cases - but some patients are said to be “still symptomatic” on that ward.

But hospital managers say they are not being complacent and accept the battle is not yet won.

They are warning that the worst period for the spread of the norovirus contagion may come later this winter, because the December outbreak arose earlier than in previous years.

A spokesman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Although the number of norovirus cases has significantly reduced, norovirus can re-occur at any time and this outbreak was earlier than usual.

“Norovirus is usually worse in the January and February period.”

The hospital stressed good hand hygiene is the key to preventing the spread of norovirus, whether in hospital or at home.

Last week there were reports of hand gel used to kill the germs being stolen by visitors to Bassetlaw Hospital.

The spokesman added: “We recommend that people wash their hands after use of the toilet and periodically throughout the day, especially if they are in public areas.

“We are still asking the public to refrain from visiting hospital and to come only if it is absolutely necessary.

“Anyone with diarrhoea and vomiting is asked to stay away and not risk bringing infections into hospital.

“If people have had diarrhoea and vomiting, they should please wait at least 48 hours after being clear of the symptoms before coming in to hospital.

“These simple measures will help to protect vulnerable patients.”

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