Hospital visitors asked to help reduce Norovirus risk
7:00am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
Relatives and carers are being asked to help reduce the risk of spreading Norovirus by phoning wards before visiting the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, and West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance.
Consultant Nurse and joint director of infection prevention and control, Louise Dickinson, said: “Like many hospitals around the country we have seen an increase in the number of patients with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
"It is important to us to respond quickly when this is brought into our hospitals in order to minimise disruption as Norovirus can spread easily and rapidly. We are asking all visitors to ring the ward they wish to visit for advice before setting out and hope that they will support our request for help.”
Louise added: “Where it is necessary to come into the hospital, we are asking that the number of visitors is kept to an absolute minimum. Certainly no more than two people at a time and ideally these should only be closest family and friends, who can keep their wider family and friends informed about the wellbeing of the person in hospital. Young children should also avoid visiting.”
Outpatient clinics are going ahead but anyone who has had symptoms of diarrhoea and/ or vomiting, or has been in contact with anyone with these symptoms, should avoid visiting the hospital until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone.
In most cases, Norovirus is generally mild and people usually recover fully within two to three days. Good hygiene is important in preventing others from becoming infected – this includes thorough hand washing using soap and warm water, as alcohol hand gels will not kill the virus.