ALL wards at Worcestershire Royal Hospital are again closed to visitors following an outbreak of norovirus.

Visitors are also being asked to stay away from Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, but wards at Kidderminster Hospital were open as normal.

Norovirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea and can affect people of all ages. It is extremely contagious and anyone who has been feeling unwell is being asked to stay away from hospitals to minimise the risk of spreading the infection to patients and staff.

Chief nursing officer with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Lindsey Webb “Patient safety is our priority, and we take any risk of infection very seriously, taking steps where necessary to prevent the spread of infection.

“We are very aware of the impact visiting restrictions can have on patients and families. However, we took the difficult decision to close our sites to visitors as a way of preventing the spread of norovirus.

“We’d like to say thank you to everyone who supported us and helped us to control the situation, and we can assure the public we will continue to be vigilant.”

There is no treatment for norovirus apart from letting the illness run its course and it can take between 24 and 72 hours to recover from the illness.

Anyone who has felt unwell, vomited or experienced diarrhoea over the past 48 hours is asked to stay away from hospital.

Patients, staff and visitors are asked to use hand gel provided when entering and leaving a ward and not to touch drips, wounds or catheters and any concerns about cleanliness standards in any ward should be reported as soon as possible.

Visitors are also asked not to sit on beds and to change clothes before visiting if they work in a dusty or dirty environment.

People suffering from norovirus are advised to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, was their hands thoroughly after using the toilet and not preparing food for others until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have subsided.

Towels and flannels should also not be shared and all surfaces should be thoroughly disinfected. Telephone your GP or NHS 111 for advice if the symptoms do not quickly subside or you have additional concerns Anyone who believes their visit is essential is advised to contact the ward directly.

All outpatient appointments were running as normal this afternoon.

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