Norovirus closes two Stevenage hospital wards

TWO wards have been closed at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage following an outbreak of the Norovirus.

Known as the winter vomiting bug, although non life-threatening, it spreads easily and so the trust which runs the hospital has closed the wards to new admissions and visitors.

The trust is also urging patients’ relatives who themselves have experienced vomiting and diarrhoea not to visit their loved ones in any part of the hospital until they are clear of symptoms for at least three days.

The trust’s infection control lead, director of nursing Angela Thompson, said: “Infection outbreaks caused by this virus, which can happen at any time of the year, tend to be more common during winter months.

“Our first priority, therefore, is always to our patients.

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“In order to prevent them becoming infected with this virus, which can be caught very easily, we’re asking people who have had this illness themselves not to visit friends and relatives in hospital unless at least three days have elapsed since their last symptoms.

“Children under the age of 12 should not come along on visits if at all possible as they are more prone to acquiring Norovirus infections.

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“We’re also reminding everyone – patients, their visitors and our staff – to ensure they maintain excellent hygiene practices at all times. This includes being extra vigilant in washing hands before and after every visit, using the handwashing facilities provided.”

Signs and symptoms of the virus that causes these infections include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and giddiness. The incubation period is 24 to 48 hours, with symptoms usually lasting one to two days.

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