Nasty norovirus bugs Middlemore Hospital
Hospital visitors are being asked to take extra precautions with Middlemore on alert for the stomach bug norovirus.
As of Monday, 14 people have fallen ill, including staff and patients.
The virus was brought into the hospital from community admissions and has now spread across wards.
Norovirus, or viral gastroenteritis, causes nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Symptoms usually last from 12 to 72 hours.
More than 100 patients and staff were affected when a norovirus outbreak hit Middlemore in 2012.
Visitors to affected wards may be asked to wear gloves and gowns before entering.
Staff recommend not bringing children in to the hospital during a norovirus alert.
They are asking that anybody who is visiting patients be well and show no symptoms of illness and have been symptom-free for at least two days.
Any visitors are also asked to perform rigorous hand washing with soap and water before and after visiting. Hand gel is not effective for gastroenteritis, the hospital says.
To avoid the virus, the hospital says people in the community should also hand wash with soap and water directly after going to the toilet and before preparing food as it helps to stop the spread of infection.
If you are unwell, drink plenty of fluids and avoid contact with infants, the elderly or those with long term illness until you are free of all symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours.
Take care: Remember to wash your hands to avoid norovirus.