Hospital shuts four wards after norovirus detected
PUBLISHED: 06:43 14 December 2017
Several wards at Weston General Hospital have been shut due to an outbreak of norovirus.
Two intensive therapy unit (ITU) beds and four hospital wards have been closed to admissions after the winter virus was detected.
The common illness is highly contagious and health professionals have issued a plea for people to stay away if they have contracted the bug.
Common symptoms include diarrhoea, a fever and sickness.
Weston Area Health NHS Trust has closed off Sandford, Draycott, Berrow and Kewstoke wards following the discovery of norovirus. ITU beds four and five are similarly affected.
Visiting hours have been reduced to prevent it spreading.
A hospital spokesman said: “Norovirus is present in the wider community in North Somerset with many people affected by this very unpleasant bug, so we are urging visitors to remain vigilant to try to prevent further outbreaks.
“Please do not visit any of the hospital wards or departments if you have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours.”
Anyone who believes they have norovirus is advised to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to take paracetamol as required.
The spokesman added: “Stay at home and don’t go to the doctor, because norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it.
“However, you may wish to visit your GP if your symptoms last longer than a few days.
“Extra care should be taken to prevent babies and small children who are vomiting or have diarrhoea from dehydrating, by giving them plenty of fluids.
“Don’t worry if you are pregnant and you get norovirus because there is no risk to your unborn child.”
Anyone who visits the hospital over the winter period is reminded to wash their hands thoroughly and use a hand sanitizer or soap when entering or exiting a ward – regardless of whether norovirus is prevalent.
The hospital spokesman added: “Visiting affected wards during an outbreak is strongly discouraged as visitors are also at risk of contracting the infection.
“We understand this may be of concern to relatives of patients currently on a restricted access ward, however, preventing the spread of infection is a top priority.”