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Winter Vomiting Virus 16 October 2006

An illness characterised by diarrhoea and vomiting continues to spread across the Island. There have been a few cases at Noble’s Hospital, both among patients and staff. Some Wards at Noble’s have been closed to new admissions purely as a matter of precaution. Visitors to some Wards may notice that some restrictions have been placed on visitors – this is to protect both patients and visitors.

It needs to be understood that outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting caused by the Winter Vomiting Virus (Noro Virus) are not at all uncommon at this time of the year. The problem is something which starts primarily in the community and the Hospital gets affected secondarily. Once the virus enters a hospital it can spread very quickly and can be difficult to eradicate – outbreaks caused by this virus have led to hospital closures in the UK. This is the reason for putting in place stringent precautions at Noble’s to prevent spread of the virus.

Advice to the Public:

  1. If you are visiting Noble’s, there may be some restrictions placed in some Wards. Please comply with these – this is to protect patients and visitors and to prevent spread of the virus.
  2. Please do not visit either the Hospital or old people’s homes if you have diarrhoea and / or vomiting. Please wait for 48 hours after cessation of all your symptoms before visiting.
  3. Please do not return to work for 48 hours after the symptoms have ceased.
  4. If you get diarrhoea and / or vomiting, please DO NOT ATTEND NOBLE’S A & E. Contact your doctor over the telephone (rather than visit the surgery). All these precautions are to prevent spreading the infection.
  5. Please ensure that hygiene precautions are followed at home if anyone gets diarrhoea and vomiting. These include measures such as scrupulous washing of hands, thorough cleaning of vomit using diluted bleach, cleaning toilet bowls with bleach, etc. The condition is self-limiting and symptoms subside in 2 – 3 days.

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