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Outbreak Of Viral Gastroenteritis 31 March 2008


An illness characterised by vomiting and diarrhoea has been spreading across the Island. The Public Health Directorate has been notified of cases from the community, as well as healthcare facilities.

Since Friday 28th March, there have been a few cases at Noble’s Hospital, both among patients and staff. The cases have been confined to one ward at the hospital and this ward has been closed to admissions as a matter of precaution. Persons visiting the hospital will notice that some restrictions have been placed on visitors – this is to protect both patients and visitors.

The present outbreak of Vomiting and Diarrhoea, which started initially in the community and later spread to the Hospital, is most probably caused by a virus called Noro Virus (often referred to as “Winter Vomiting Virus”). 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.

Advice to members of the Public:

If you have vomiting and/or diarrhoea:

  1. Please do not visit either the Hospital or care homes.
  2. Please wait for 48 hours after cessation of all your symptoms before visiting, as you continue to shed the virus for 48 hours after you have completely recovered. Often the virus is spread by people who have made a full recovery who do not realise that they are still infectious.
  3. Please do not return to work for 48 hours after the symptoms have ceased.
  4. Please DO NOT ATTEND NOBLE’S A & E. Contact your doctor over the telephone (rather than visit the surgery).
  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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