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West Suffolk Hospital closes ward to admissions after winter vomiting bug outbreak

PUBLISHED: 11:47 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 16 March 2017

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SIMON PARKER

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Archant

Three new cases of norovirus have been detected at West Suffolk Hospital – the fourth time a ward at the hospital has had to close this year because of the bug.

Ward G5 has been closed to new admissions after three confirmed cases of norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, were diagnosed.

Ward G4 was closed on March 7 after three cases were also found – but this has now been reopened.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust asked people who have had sickness or diarrhoea to stay away from hospital until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.

Both Colchester and Ipswich hospitals confirmed today they have no current cases of norovirus detected on their wards.

Norovirus is a highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus and anyone visiting was urged to take extra care to wash their hands with soap and water when arriving and leaving.

Wards F5 and G4 were also closed in January after norovirus cases were detected.

“Very infectious”

Rowan Procter, 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 would advise anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting to stay away from the hospital for at least 48 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.”

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