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stmaryshospitalkohnVisitors to St Mary’s Hospital are being asked to help stop the spread of norovirus by staying away if they have had any symptoms of the illness within the last 48 hours, as the virus spreads to two of the hospital’s wards.

Patients are currently affected by diarrhoea and vomiting on both Whippingham and Luccombe wards after two bays on the Medical Assessment Unit had to be closed earlier this month due to norovirus, although MAU is no longer affected.

Anyone wanting to visit either Whippingham or Luccombe wards is being asked to do so only if essential and only by prior arrangement with the ward Matron. No children aged 16 and under or elderly or vulnerable adults should visit either ward.

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Deputy Director of Nursing, Sarah Johnston, said:

“It is absolutely vital that anyone who is feeling unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, and is planning to visit the hospital, stays at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop. Keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, particularly if you are elderly or very young. And if your symptoms persist, you should phone the NHS 111 helpline for advice, or visit your pharmacy or GP.”

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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