One ward at Bromyard Community Hospital, has been closed to visitors due to cases of diarrhoea and vomiting (suspected Norovirus). As a preventative measure visiting to Linden ward at Bromyard Community Hospital has been stopped to prevent the further spread of diarrhoea and vomiting which is affecting some patients.
Wye Valley NHS Trust is urging anyone planning to visit any of its hospitals to stay at home if they or their family members have had diarrhoea, vomiting or ‘flu-like’ symptoms in the last four days.
Symptoms of Norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting and, just like flu, the virus can seriously affect vulnerable patients. Diseases such as Noroviruses can be exacerbated by colder weather, and can be particularly serious for people who are already ill or who have a long term condition.
These stomach bugs are highly contagious and can spread rapidly anywhere that people are gathered, such as schools or offices.
Hospitals are public buildings with hundreds (or thousands) of visitors every day. That is why the NHS asks people to think carefully before visiting hospitals if they or anyone in their family has even mild symptoms of stomach upset.
Sarah Hardy, Lead Infection Prevention Nurse at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “It’s really important to make sure that we protect vulnerable patients and hospital staff. This is why we’re asking everyone considering visiting a friend or relative in hospital to think carefully about whether they need to come if they have experienced diarrhoea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms in the last four days.”
“We know that sometimes visitors feel they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives. However, if they themselves have been unwell, they could be putting others at risk. If you’re unsure whether to visit, please feel free to contact the ward nurse before you come into our hospitals.”
“If you are worried about prolonged symptoms, you can contact NHS 111 or ring your GP. They will be able to provide advice for people who are at greater risk from dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting, such as children under the age of five or the elderly.”
In addition to not visiting the hospital if you are unwell, good hand hygiene can help to limit the spread of the infection and there are some simple steps that the public can take to help stop a 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.
If you have Norovirus, the best thing that you can do is rest and drink plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration. Don’t visit your GP surgery or local Emergency Department. You should recover naturally without any specific treatment.
Note to editors:
Wye Valley NHS Trust is a 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 the Trust communication team on 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 x5105.