Visitors to Furness General Hospital (FGH) in Barrow are being asked not to visit if they’ve recently suffered bouts of diarrhoea or vomiting after an outbreak of Norovirus amongst patients closed one ward to admissions apart for exceptional circumstances.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has reported an outbreak of the ‘winter vomiting bug’, with three wards currently affected.
The Trust has confirmed that 18 patients on Ward 6, one patient on Ward 7 and two patients on Ward 4 are affected by the Norovirus. No members of staff are affected.
Ward 6 at FGH has been closed to admissions and transfers. Patients can be discharged home but not to another care facility. On Ward 7 and Ward 4 in the areas affected, patients can be discharged home but not to another care facility.
Lorna Pritt, Matron for Infection Prevention and Control at UHMBT, said: “Norovirus is a common cause of diarrhoea and/or vomiting and is often referred to as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it has, historically, been more common in winter, although it can circulate throughout the year.
“While visiting is still an option, we are asking friends and relatives visiting their loved ones not to:
- Visit any hospital or clinic if you have suffered symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting within the last 48 hours
- Visit with young children
- Bring food in for loved ones
- Have more than two visitors at each bed
- Visit communal areas within the hospital
Remember to wash your hands on entrance to and exit from all ward and department areas and encourage others to do so.”
Dr Shahedal Bari, Medical Director of UHMBT, said: “While for most people norovirus is unpleasant but short-lived, it is important to try to stop it spreading in order to protect those who are more vulnerable, including frail older people and those who are already in hospital for other reasons.
“In most cases if you are experiencing norovirus symptoms it is best to stay at home and look after yourself until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours.
“By not attending Furness General Hospital with Norovirus symptoms, you will help us to keep our staff and patients free of the virus.”
To help ease symptoms of norovirus:
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea – as well as water, adults could also try fruit juice and soup. Avoid giving fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds
- Take over the counter medications (i.e. paracetamol) for any fever or aches and pains (always check the labels for suitability and doses)
- Get plenty of rest
- If you feel like eating, eat plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread
- Use special rehydration drinks made from sachets bought from pharmacies if you have signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth or dark urine – read more about treating dehydration
More information on norovirus can be found at: NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Norovirus/Pages/Introduction.aspx#whattodo