Poorly visitors asked to stay away from hospital

Visitors to hospital are being asked to stay away if they are ill with vomiting, diarrhoea or flu-like symptoms.

Novo VirusAn outbreak of norovirus, a winter vomiting bug, has temporarily closed Ward 10b at Southport and Formby District General Hospital to new admissions.

The Trust has also seen a sharp increase in patients admitted with flu in January.

Andrew Chalmers, Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said:

"Both norovirus and flu are highly infectious. Medical complications from flu can be particularly serious for vulnerable people such as those with long-term medical conditions or weakened immune systems.

Friends and family who suspect they are poorly with either flu or norovirus must not visit patients in hospital unless absolutely necessary. If a visit is essential, please telephone the ward manager first."

Symptoms of norovirus include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

The illness usually resolves in one or two days and there are no long-term effects. If you are affected, stay at home, drink plenty of fluids, wash your hands after using the toilet and prior to eating, and clean or disinfect contaminated surfaces.

In particular, anyone who has experienced sickness or diarrhoea in the past 48 hours should stay away from hospitals and other healthcare providers, as either a visitor or a patient, except in a genuine medical emergency.

Unlike a cold, flu usually comes on very quickly and symptoms include a temperature, chills, muscle and joint aches, cough, sneezing and a runny nose.

Usually, you can manage flu symptoms yourself at home and there's no need to see a GP. Most people feel better within a week but call NHS 111 or your GP for symptoms that won’t go away.

Issued by Tony Ellis, Marketing and Communications Manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494
Email tonyellis@nhs.net
Web www.southportandormskirk.nhs.uk
Twitter @SONHSTrust