Virus strikes hospital ward

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HEALTH bosses have closed a ward at Chesterfield Royal Hospital after an outbreak of the Norovirus vomiting bug.

Managers at the hospital have warned people to watch out for symptoms of the bug and asked visitors to stay away if they have displayed signs of the illness.

Norovirus, also known as winter vomiting bug, is an extremely contagious infection causing diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

Diane Simpson, senior matron for infection prevention and control, said the hospital’s Basil ward, which houses surgical patients, had closed.

“We’ve had an outbreak on Basil ward and closed it to reduce the risk of cross-infection to other wards and departments,” she said.

“We’re taking all of the usual precautions in terms of cleaning and good hand hygiene to complement that and will continue to do everything we can to prevent it spreading but we need help from the general public to do it.

“It is an incredibly infectious virus and spreads primarily through touch so if you do suffer symptoms then please stay at home.

“Ensure you wash your hands before and after going to the toilet, keep surfaces clean and do not go back to work or visit areas with lots of people until you’ve been symptom free for 72 hours. That applies to children at school as well.”

Norovirus spreads through personal contact, food and water and is likely to spread where people are in close proximity, such as in hospitals or schools. Severe outbreaks can cause serious disruptions to hospitals.

There is no treatment apart from letting it run its course. The infection usually lasts between 12 and 60 hours.

n If symptoms persist patients should call their GP or telephone NHS Direct on 0845 4647.