Ward at West Suffolk Hospital closed after norovirus outbreak

West Suffolk Hospital
West Suffolk Hospital
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A ward at West Suffolk Hospital is currently closed to new admissions after patients showed symptoms of norovirus.

Bosses at the hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, decided to close ward G3 on Friday night after six patients showed symptoms of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus.

A portable sink, which makes it easier for visitors to clean their hands with soap and water, has also been stationed outside the ward since Friday for use when people arrive and leave.

As a result of the action taken, the spread of the infection has been limited, with only one patient still showing symptoms of the illness today.

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 a few days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.

“We are pleased that the steps we have taken so far seem to have helped to limit the spread of the illness. We are still advising 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 the portable sink to wash their hands with soap and water when they arrive and before they leave as the alcohol gel is not effective against this virus.”