Norovirus outbreak closes hospital ward

A WARD at the Conquest Hospital has been closed following an outbreak of norovirus.

McDonald ward was shut to new admissions this week after several patients displayed symptoms of the illness, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.

A hospital spokesman said one case of norovirus was confirmed on Wednesday and two patients were displaying symptoms.

The ward will be closed until at least 48 hours after it is free of the bug.

The hospital is urging people with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting to stay at home, drink plenty of water and not visit friends or relatives in hospital until they are free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Failure to do this increases the risk of spreading the infection to patients and staff in hospital.

Norovirus is highly infectious and is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis in the UK.

The illness is generally mild and people usually recover fully within two to three days.

There are no long-term effects that result from being infected. Infections can occur at any age because immunity is not long lasting.

Norovirus is not dangerous in itself and is not uncommon at this time of year but can spread easily.

But it can be debilitating for elderly or weak patients.