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hospitalhandwashingNorovirus has returned to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust are warning.

A number of patients and staff with diarrhoea and vomiting have been identified on a ward at St Mary’s in the last 24 hours. Responding to the discovery, the Trust has today (Wednesday) taken immediate action to help contain the virus by closing two bays on the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) to new admissions. This decision will be reviewed in the next 48 hours.

Outpatient appointments and clinics are uneffected and patients should attend as normal. However, those planning to visit the Medical Assessment Unit should only do so if it is essential. No children (aged 16 and under) or elderly or vulnerable adults (e.g. those with existing long term conditions) should visit MAU.

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It is vital that anyone who is feeling unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, and planning to visit their friend or relative in hospital, nursing or a residential home, stays at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop to avoid the spread of infection. Keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids is very important, particularly for the elderly and the very young who are most at risk. If the symptoms persist, telephone NHS 111.

Further details of symptoms are available on the NHS Choices website

Good hand hygiene using soap and water is important during outbreaks of norovirus as it is highly contagious. Thorough cleaning of hard surfaces with a bleach solution, paying particular attention to the toilet and toilet area, will help to reduce the spread of the virus.

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