Hospital visitors told to stay away if they are ill
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