One ward at Hereford County Hospital has been closed to visitors due to cases of diarrhoea and vomiting - Norovirus.
As a preventative measure visiting to Gilwern Unit has been stopped to prevent the further spread of norovirus, which is affecting some patients.
This kind of outbreak comes from within the community and is often seen this time of year. Experience has shown that restricting visiting can lessen the chance of spread to both patients and visitors and other areas of the hospital.
Venkat Sivaprakasam, consultant microbiologist at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We’re urging people to only come to the hospital if you really need to. Particularly young children, vulnerable elderly visitors and anyone who has experienced symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting in the previous 48 hours must avoid visiting any of the hospitals.
“It is also very important that any visitors with diarrhoea and/or vomiting do not visit other areas of the hospital until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. Visitors to all areas of the hospital are requested to practice good hand hygiene and use the alcohol gels available in all wards/departments in order to prevent any further spread of infection.
“We wish to thank all visitors for their understanding during this period and to emphasise that these restrictions are in place to protect our patients, as part of a zero tolerance approach to healthcare associated infections”.
There are some simple steps that the public can take to help stop norovirus spreading:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, particularly after using the toilet, and before preparing food. If you’re in an NHS facility pay attention to hand hygiene notices such as using hand gel upon entering and leaving a ward.
- Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with a norovirus. It is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner. Always follow the instructions on the cleaning product.
- Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet. You should also keep the surrounding toilet area clean and hygienic.
- Wash any clothing, or linens, which could have become contaminated with a norovirus. Washing with hot, soapy water will help to ensure that the virus is killed.
Although people usually recover without treatment in 24-72 hours, it is important to stay away from work, school, college or any social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is the provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.