15 February 2012
Help your hospitals to beat norovirus this half term
This half term University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
(UH Bristol) is reminding families who have relatives in hospital
to avoid visiting the Trust if they have had symptoms of diarrhoea
and vomiting in the previous 48 hours.
Two wards are currently closed at the Bristol Royal Infirmary
Old Building (Ward 20 and Ward 23) and as a result the Trust has
restricted visiting times in that building to one hour a day
between 7-8pm. In addition, only two visitors are allowed per bed
with no change of visitors during a visiting session. Restrictions
are under constant review.
Christine Perry, director of infection prevention and control at
UH Bristol, says:
"We understand that people want to visit family and friends in
hospital but we are asking visitors especially those with young
children who may be visiting relatives this half term to think
again before visiting if they have had symptoms of diarrhoea and
vomiting in the previous 48 hours."
"We do everything we can to prevent and control infection and
these restrictions are necessary for us to continue to provide
patients with the best possible care."
Dr Hugh Annett, director of public health in Bristol, said:
"Norovirus is frequently brought into hospitals from the local
community and is easily spread by contact with people suffering
diarrhoea and vomiting who may have contaminated the environment.
Symptoms appear 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus and can
last for up to three days. The virus can spread just by
touching something contaminated - like a door handle."
"The virus is particularly damaging for young people, those with
compromised immune systems and the elderly."
Do not visit your GP surgery or local A&E unit with symptoms
of norovirus. Norovirus is a 'self-limiting' illness meaning you
will recover naturally without treatment. It is important to
drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. lf your symptom
persist phone your GP out-of-hours or NHS Direct for advice.
NHS Direct is available 24 hours a day on: 0845 4647.
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