Hospital closes ward after virus alert

IPSWICH Hospital was praised last night for acting swiftly to close one of its wards as nine patients were thought to have contracted the winter vomiting virus.

IPSWICH Hospital was praised last night for acting swiftly to close one of its wards as nine patients were thought to have contracted the winter vomiting virus.

Shotley ward was closed to new admissions and visitors were being urged to stay away to avoid putting themselves at risk of catching the illness.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We have nine patients affected and one member of staff. It is not clear yet what the illness is as the tests have not come back yet. We are doing everything we can to limit the impact.

“Our infection control policy is something we take extremely seriously and we want to limit any chance of transmitting any virus or anyone else becoming infected.

“As a precautionary measure the ward was closed to any new admissions and we are asking visitors not to come on to the ward. If it is this illness, we need to contain it.

“We acted immediately. We are grateful for people bearing with us and although it has not yet been confirmed, it is highly likely to be the winter vomiting virus.”

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Prue Rush, and a former spokeswoman for the Ipswich Hospital Patient and Public Involvement Forum before it was disbanded last month, said: “This is a very sensible move by the hospital and the most practical way to go forward.

“This is a really virulent bug, anyone can carry it, if you get it you feel absolutely awful. If nine patients have got this they do need to be isolated from the rest of the world.

“This is a reassuring way to behave, hopefully there quick action will stop it spreading further. Every hospital at some time of the year will be hit by this virus.

“It is very, very quick and a nasty little bug. You go from literally feeling fine to feeling sick and being so within half an hour, plus maybe having diarrhoea. But this does not raise issues about hospital hygiene. This can be carried by anyone, anywhere.”

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