Two hospital wards closed due to norovirus

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Two wards at the Eastbourne DGH are closed to new admissions following confirmed cases of norovirus, also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’.

Seaford 2 Ward has two confirmed norovirus cases while Seaford 3 has three confirmed norovirus cases.

The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is urging people not to visit and is asking people who experience symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting and feel unwell with gastrointestinal symptoms to not visit friends or relatives in hospital until they are free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Lesley Smith, senior infection prevention and control nurse, said: “Norovirus is highly infectious. The public can help contain the spread of this virus by not visiting friends or relatives in hospital if they are experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting and feel unwell with gastrointestinal symptoms. Please don’t help pass it on.

!Also, if you are visiting a relative or friend in hospital we do not recommend storing food in open containers in ward areas such as fruit bowls so bring food gifts for patients in sealable containers only.

“To help contain it we have restricted the movement of patients around the hospital and introduced stringent infection control measures.

“In particular, attention to good hygiene measures should be observed. It is very important to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with someone who is ill.

“Thorough cleaning of hard surfaces with a bleach solution, paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces and toilet area and cleaning up vomit and the surrounding area quickly will help to reduce environmental contamination and reduce the risk of transmission of infection to others coming into contact with these surfaces later on.”

Norovirus is highly infectious and is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting) in England and Wales.

It has been historically known as a ‘winter vomiting bug’ due to its seasonality and typical symptoms.

The illness is generally mild and people usually recover fully within two to three days.

There are no long term effects that result from being infected.

Infections can occur at any age because immunity is not long lasting.

For the latest updates on wards affected by the outbreak visit the Trust website at www.esht.nhs.uk/infection-control/visiting-restrictions

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