Hospi­tal vis­i­tors told to stay away if they are ill

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

VIS­I­TORS to hospi­tal pa­tients are be­ing asked to stay away if they are ill with vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea or flu-like symp­toms.

An out­break of norovirus, a win­ter vom­it­ing bug, has tem­po­rar­ily closed Ward 10b at South­port and Formby Dis­trict Gen­eral Hospi­tal to new ad­mis­sions.

The trust has also re­ported a sharp in­crease in pa­tients ad­mit­ted with flu in Jan­uary.

An­drew Chalmers, the trust’s deputy di­rec­tor of in­fec­tion preven­tion and con­trol, said: “Both norovirus and flu are highly in­fec­tious.

“Med­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions from flu can be par­tic­u­larly se­ri­ous for vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple such as those with long-term med­i­cal con­di­tions or weak­ened im­mune sys­tems.

“Friends and fam­ily who sus­pect they are poorly with ei­ther flu or norovirus must not visit pa­tients in hospi­tal un­less ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary.

“If a visit is es­sen­tial, please tele­phone the ward man­ager first.”

Symp­toms of norovirus in­clude a sud­den on­set of vom­it­ing and/or di­ar­rhoea.

Some peo­ple may have a tem­per­a­ture, headache and stom­ach cramps.

The ill­ness usu­ally re­solves in one or two days and there are no long-term ef­fects.

Anyone who is af­fected should stay at home, drink plenty of flu­ids, make sure they wash their hands thor­oughly af­ter us­ing the toi­let and prior to eat­ing, and clean or dis­in­fect con­tam­i­nated sur­faces.

In par­tic­u­lar, anyone who has ex­pe­ri­enced sick­ness or di­ar­rhoea in the past 48 hours should stay away from hos­pi­tals and other health­care providers, as ei­ther a vis­i­tor or a pa­tient, ex­cept in a gen­uine med­i­cal emer­gency.

Un­like a cold, flu usu­ally comes on very quickly and symp­toms in­clude a tem­per­a­ture, chills, mus­cle and joint aches, cough, sneez­ing and a runny nose.

Usu­ally, flu suf­fer­ers can man­age the symp­toms them­selves at home and there is no need to see a GP.

Most peo­ple feel bet­ter within a week but anyone find­ing that the symp­toms per­sist for longer should call NHS 111 or their GP.

South­port & Formby Dis­trict Gen­eral Hospi­tal

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