Norovirus shuts one ward at Eastbourne DGH

THE DGH has shut one ward to new admissions after an outbreak of norovirus.

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

It is known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ due to its seasonality and typical symptoms.

The trust currently has 25 symptomatic patients – across Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill – with five confirmed cases of norovirus.

A hospital spokesperson said, “There has been a lot of national media coverage about incidents of norovirus across the country affecting hospitals and nursing homes.

“It is not uncommon to experience this virus at this time of year. We are aware neighbouring Trusts are seeing cases and we are starting to see incidences here.

“Currently we have one ward at both Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest Hospital along with the Irvine Unit at Bexhill Hospital closed to new admissions.”

If you experience symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting and feel unwell with gastrointestinal symptoms - don’t help pass them on.

Stay at home and drink plenty of water. More importantly 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.

The illness is generally mild and people usually recover fully within two-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.

Dr Barry Phillips, director of infection prevention and control, said, “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.”