Visiting restricted as Norovirus starts to circulate

As a result of an increase in the winter vomiting illness, norovirus, circulating in the local community, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is taking precautions to protect patients and staff from this very infectious virus.

Dr Ngozi Elumogo Director of Infection Prevention and control says “Norovirus is a highly infectious virus which is circulating in the community at this time. Our inpatients are particularly vulnerable and to limit the spread within the hospital we are asking visitors to restrict their visiting to close family members and not to visit more than one ward or to bring in children aged under 12 years. Washing your hands with hot water and soap is also essential for all visitors.”

Notes to editors

Norovirus infection is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhoea in the UK, affecting 600,000 to one million people every year. The symptoms are severe vomiting and or diarrhoea, but it is generally a short-lived illness from which the majority of people will recover in 12 to 60 hours without treatment other than resting and taking fluids to replace lost liquids.

The illness is highly infectious and great care needs to be taken to prevent its spread.

The advice for people with symptoms is:

Stay away from work, school or college until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly at all times, but particularly after toilet visits and before eating.
Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been symptom free for a minimum period of 48 hours.
Do not visit friends or relatives in hospitals or residential care homes to avoid introducing the infection to environments where it could spread easily and put vulnerable people at greater risk.
Do not attend social gatherings until you have been free of all symptoms for at least 48 hours.
Do not visit your GP surgery or local A&E Unit. You will recover naturally without treatment, but it is important to rest and take plenty of drinks to replace lost fluids.
Do not share towels with others. If possible, use paper towels after hand-washing and dispose of them immediately.
Make sure that any surface that is contaminated by vomit or faeces is promptly and thoroughly disinfected after an episode of illness.
If your symptoms persist or appear to be worsening, phone your family doctor or NHS Direct for advice. The NHS Direct number is 0845-4647.
If you have bloody diarrhea (blood in your stools), phone your doctor or NHS direct urgently for advice. Don’t delay

Friday 22nd of March 2013 04:00:54 PM