RELATIVES and friends are being asked to refrain from visiting patients in hospital if they develop symptoms of Norovirus.

The Great Western Hospital is keen to prevent the spread of the infection to vulnerable patients and is urging anyone experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea to cancel their visit and stay at home Norovirus causes viral gastroenteritis, which is characterised by the sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

It is common for Norovirus to be present in the community in places like schools, nurseries and care homes, particularly during the winter.

People showing symptoms of Norovirus are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Don’t visit friends or relatives in hospital or care homes. It is usually through this route that the infection is spread and once it is in a hospital it means bays have to be closed reducing the number of beds available to other sick patients. 
  • Drink plenty to replace lost fluids. If symptoms persist more than 48 hours phone a GP or NHS Direct for advice.
  • Stay away from work, or school, until free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water regularly, particularly after toilet visits and before eating.