Visitors warned to stay away as Norovirus outbreak closes hospital wards

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WARDS have been closed and visitors are being warned to stay away due to an outbreak of Norovirus – winter diarrhoea and vomiting – at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Members of the public are being told not to go to hospital as an inpatient, outpatient, or visitor if they have any signs of a stomach upset and, if visiting someone in hospital is unavoidable, to make sure to wash their hands before and after the visit.

Maurice Madeo, deputy director of infection prevention and control at the hospital, said: “Hand hygiene is the single most important thing that we can do to prevent the spread of infections.

“We advise staff to wash their hands before and after every patient contact and that’s advice we could all adopt.

”We can’t be too careful about limiting the spread of all infections. An infection on top of another medical condition can prove fatal to sick, frail patients.”

The first sign of Norovirus is usually a “sudden sick feeling” followed by “forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea”. Some people may also have a raised temperature, headaches, stomach cramps or aching limbs.

A spokesman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Foundation Trust added: “The public should not be surprised that we have closed wards. By ‘close’, we mean that no new patients are admitted to the ward to protect them from the risk of infection, and to enable us to care for those who are already in hospital.

“Current patients will continue to receive care of the highest standards.”