EIGHT patients have been affected by Norovirus, which has closed a ward at Warwick Hospital to visitors, except on compassionate grounds.
The Charlecote Ward, which is a care of the elderly ward, has been closed since Christmas Day.
Warwick Hospital, in Lakin Road, has shared some infection prevention advice to the general public, to avoid the spread of germs.
In the winter months, there is more likelihood of germs spreading and causing infection, especially in the communities most vulnerable like the elderly, sick people and children.
It is important to remember that Norovirus spreads rapidly as a result of contact between individuals.
Anyone who has been in contact with, or have had, diarrhoea and vomiting within the last 48 hours, will be infectious and should stay away from the hospital.
Anyone suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, should stay at home and drink plenty of fluids.
People who have had any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms, should take note of the following advice:
- Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water is the best way to protect against norovirus, but if you’re in an NHS facility you should also use the hand gels provided in addition to hand washing to protect yourself and others against other infections.
- Ensure that toilet areas in your home are kept clean, particularly if you have been experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Wash any clothing or linen that could be contaminated with Norovirus.
- Disinfect any hard surfaces that could be contaminated, especially areas where you have been ill.
- Stay away from hospitals, work, school or social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
Norovirus is very common at this time of year and outbreaks of the virus are being reported around the country.
For most people it is no worse than a short bout of diarrhoea and vomiting that should clear up within 24 to 72 hours. However, for the more vulnerable, it can have a more significant effect.
In the instances where there is a suspected outbreak of the virus on one of Warwick Hospital’s wards, staff at the hospital do a number of things to contain it, including:
- Restricting visiting
- Stopping patient or staff moves from affected areas, unless on clinical grounds
- Isolating or cohorting affected patients
- Additional cleaning
For more information visit www.swft.nhs.uk
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust will update its website on a daily basis throughout the winter to keep patients and families informed of any ward closures.