More hospital wards shut amid outbreak

FURTHER wards have been shut at West Suffolk Hospital because of the winter vomiting virus.Anyone suffering from a possible norovirus infection was today urged to stay away from the Bury St Edmunds hospital after more patients have had symptoms of the illness.

FURTHER wards have been shut at West Suffolk Hospital because of the winter vomiting virus.

Anyone suffering from a possible norovirus infection was today urged to stay away from the Bury St Edmunds hospital after more patients have had symptoms of the illness.

Four medical wards have been closed to new admissions, although it is hoped that one will reopen in the next 24 hours.

Norovirus, which is often known as winter vomiting virus, affects hundreds of people in the community each year. Sufferers get bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting which last for one or two days, but may remain contagious even after they start feeling better. Although it is more common in the winter months, outbreaks sometimes happen in the spring.


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Patients with the virus have been isolated in the affected wards to prevent the illness from spreading, while visitors who have shown symptoms have been urged to stay away.

Dr Caroline Barker, the hospital's infection control doctor, said: “We would like to repeat our message to anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting to stay away from the hospital for at least 72 hours after they have recovered - even if they feel better.

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“Norovirus is highly contagious and we see cases unwittingly transferred into the hospital from out in the community every year. We would ask anyone visiting the hospital to help us prevent the virus from spreading by cleaning their hands thoroughly with soap and water.

“We have stringent infection control policies in place which are helping us to manage the current cases and our cleaning staff have also been working hard to make sure enhanced cleaning takes place on the affected wards.”

Anyone suffering from norovirus should stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and take tablets such as paracetamol to relieve a temperature.

People with the virus need to come into hospital if they are very young, very old or frail and are having problems with dehydration.

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