Norovirus outbreak shuts three wards at Eastbourne DGH

A HOSPITAL bug has shut three wards at the DGH and left 29 patients with sickness and diarrhoea.

More than a dozen patients fell ill early last week after a highly infectious bout of Norovirus, also know as winter vomiting bus, hit the hospital – closing both Seaford 3 and Hailsham 3 wards.

By yesterday (Tuesday), another ward had been added to that list, with the total number of people showing symptoms reaching nearly 30.

The hospital’s infection control team has been quick to warn visitors to take extra precautions both on their way to and from the site and have restricted the movement of patients within the DGH.

Management has already asked anyone visiting the hospital not to bring in fruit baskets in a bid to reduce the threat of spreading the infection.

A spokesman for the trust said anyone showing any signs of being struck down to stay away.

Dr Barry Phillips said, “Stay at home and drink plenty of water.

“More importantly, please do not visit friends or relatives in hospital until you are free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

“Failure to do this increases the risk of spreading the infection to patients and staff in hospital.

“Norovirus is highly infectious. 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 and after using the toilet, especially if you are suffering from symptoms.

“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.

“Please don’t help pass it on.

“This [danger] is highlighted by the fact that a recent incident at Conquest in Hastings was caused by a visitor who had previously been visiting an infected patient at Bexhill.”

The bug’s timing could not be worse for staff at the DGH who are already predicting an increase in admissions as temperatures prepare to plummet locally over the coming days and weeks.