Norovirus closes ward at West Suffolk Hospital

West Suffolk Hospital A&E.

West Suffolk Hospital A&E. - Credit: Archant

A ward at West Suffolk Hospital was yesterday closed to new admissions after patients showed symptoms of norovirus.

The Bury St Edmunds hospital took the decision to close ward G3 on Friday night after six patients showed symptoms of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus.

A hi-tech portable sink, which makes it easier for visitors to clean their hands with soap and water, has also been stationed outside the ward since Friday for use when people arrive and leave. As a result of the action taken by the hospital, the spread of the infection has been limited, with only one patient still showing symptoms of the illness yesterday.

Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at the hospital, said: “Norovirus is very infectious and every year there are cases in the community which transfer to the hospital. Because the virus has an incubation period of a few days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.”

She added that visitors should stay away from the hospital for 72 hours if they had suffered from vomiting or diarrhoea.