Visitors to NNUH asked to avoid wards affected by Norovirus
The highly contagious norovirus stomach bug is currently circulating widely in the community, and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is restricting visiting to its wards to help protect patients.
There is not a blanket visiting ban in place, however visitors are asked to:
Only visit the hospital if it is absolutely necessary, preferably family members only
Go to only one ward at a time
Not bring in children aged under 12 years
Not visit the hospital if they have had a stomach bug or been in close contact with someone who has over the previous three days
Wash their hands with hot water and soap this is essential for all visitors.
Dr Ngozi Elumogo, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at NNUH, says: “It is that time of year where we see norovirus circulating in the community and our advice is to wash your hands as a matter of routine with hot, soapy water. Hand sanitisers and alcohol gel will work against some bacteria and flu viruses but they will not protect you against norovirus. To keep norovirus out of hospitals, it is important that people do not visit patients if they have been ill with a stomach bug in the previous three days or in close contact with someone who has had sickness or diarrhoea.”
Dr Elumogos advice includes:
- 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 111 for advice.
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.