People in Cornwall are being urged to help reduce the spread of germs and bugs, following confirmation of a Norovirus in the community.
NHS Kernow and RCHT are asking people to not visit any hospital if they have symptoms of diarrhoea and sickness, or if they have been in contact with someone who has had these symptoms.
People should stay away from hospital for at least 48 hours after any symptoms have gone.
It is also important that people should avoid going to the emergency department at Treliske if they are able manage the symptoms themselves; you should still go to the emergency department if you need emergency medical attention, but be sure to tell staff about your diarrhoea and sickness symptoms.
Outbreaks of the illness are common, particularly within contained environments such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools. This is because Norovirus spreads very easily from person to person and can survive for several days.
Lisa Johnson, NHS Kernow’s infection control nurse consultant said: “Norovirus is a particularly nasty bug which can easily create huge problems for our hospitals trying to cope with ill patients as well as for individual sufferers.
“Everyone can do their bit to stop the spread of the virus by observing the basic rules of good hygiene. This will help reduce not only the spread of other bugs and infections, including seasonal flu, but will also do the same for Norovirus."
Anyone can catch Norovirus, but the important thing is to avoid passing it on. There are simple things that people can do to reduce the spread of Norovirus and other infections: • Always make sure you clean your hands with soap and hot water when you enter and leave hospital, nursing home or other place where there are vulnerable people.
• Don’t visit anyone in hospital if you have symptoms of the Norovirus, including vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperature, aches and pains.
• Most people with the bug will make a full recovery within two to three days and are advised to stay at home, take paracetamol to relieve fever and drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. Make sure you have some rehydration salts in your medicine cabinet.
• If you start to feel dehydrated, it is important to seek medical attention, particularly if you have a long term condition or you are elderly.
• If you are affected stay away from work and hospitals/GP surgeries until you’ve been symptom-free for two days.
• NHS 111 can give you round-the-clock help and advice, as well as your local pharmacist.
You can find out more about Norovirus and how to treat it on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/pages/introduction.aspx