Ward shut in bid to contain virus
Six patients at the William Harvey Hospital have contracted the norovirus.
The outbreak forced staff to close one ward at the Ashford hospital in a bid to stop the disease infecting others and visitors.
Last week, there were five reported cases of the diarrhoea and vomiting stomach bug, also know as the “winter vomiting bug”.
By this Monday, the number had risen to six.
A spokesman for East Kent Hospitals Trust, which runs the William Harvey, said it was their first outbreak this winter.
She said: “We can confirm that a ward is closed to new admissions at the William Harvey Hospital due to norovirus.
“As soon as the first symptomatic patients were suspected of having norovirus, the Trust set in place established and rigorous infection control proce- dures to contain the virus and prevent it spreading.
“The ward will remain closed to admissions until the Infection Prevention and Control Team advises that it can be re-opened.”
It is understood the Cam- bridge Ward is the one that is affected but the spokesman refused to confirm this.
They added however that no other wards have been affected and that they “continue to monitor and review the situation”.
Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the UK. It can affect people of any age and is more prevalent in the winter.
It is highly contagious and can be contracted through contact with people who have it, touching unwashed objects or through raw or under cooked foods.
Patients at the William Harvey Hospital have contracted norovirus