West Suffolk Hospital closes a ward to new admissions after norovirus outbreak

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Ward G3 at West Suffolk Hospital has closed to new admissions after eight patients showed symptoms of norovirus.

The ward closed yesterday. Anyone visiting has been urged to wash their hands with soap and water both on arrival and when leaving the hospital, while people who have shown symptoms of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus have been asked to stay away.

Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “Norovirus is very infectious and every year there are cases in the community which transfer to the hospital. Because the virus has an incubation period of several days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.

“We would advise anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting to stay away from the hospital for at least 72 hours after they have recovered, even if they feel better. Otherwise they run the risk of unknowingly passing the highly contagious illness on to someone who is already sick.

“Anyone who visits the hospital should be vigilant and take care to clean their hands. If they are visiting the affected ward, they should use soap and water when they arrive and before they leave as the alcohol gel is not effective against this virus.”