Some wards at Hereford County Hospital have introduced visiting restrictions due to a rising number of cases of the winter vomiting and diarrhoea bug, Norovirus.
As a preventative measure, visiting on Ashgrove and Frome wards is being restricted and will temporarily only be allowed on compassionate grounds and after discussion with the nurse in charge.
An outbreak of Norovirus at Ross Community Hospital looks to have been contained and the Trust expects it to fully reopen to visitors tomorrow (Weds, Jan 24).
The restrictions are in place to prevent the further spread of diarrhoea and vomiting which is affecting some patients.
Visiting arrangements are under daily review and may change quickly – the Trust asks that visitors call these wards prior to visiting to check the restrictions that are in place.
Norovirus outbreaks come from within the community and are often seen at this time of year. Experience has shown that restricting visiting can lessen the chance of spread to both patients and visitors and other areas of the hospital.
It is very important that any visitors with diarrhoea and/or vomiting do not visit these hospitals until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. Visitors to all areas of the hospitals are requested to practice good hand hygiene and use the alcohol gels available in all wards/departments in order to prevent any further spread of infection.
We ask that you only come to the hospital if you really need to. Particularly young children, vulnerable elderly visitors and anyone who has experienced symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting in the previous 48hrs must avoid visiting any of the Hospitals.
The Trust thanks all visitors for their understanding during this period and emphasises that these restrictions are in place to protect our patients, as part of a zero tolerance approach to healthcare associated infections.
There are some simple steps people can take to help stop a norovirus spreading:
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, particularly after using the toilet, and before preparing food. If you’re in an NHS facility pay attention to hand hygiene notices such as using hand gel upon entering and leaving a ward.
Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with a norovirus. It is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner. Always follow the instructions on the cleaning product.
Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet. You should also keep the surrounding toilet area clean and hygienic.
Wash any clothing, or linens, which could have become contaminated with a norovirus. Washing with hot, soapy water will help to ensure that the virus is killed.
Although people usually recover without treatment in 24-72 hours, it is important to stay away from work, school, college or any social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.