Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Stay at Home' Warnings after Norovirus Outbreak

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Stay at Home' Warnings after Norovirus Outbreak

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Dickinson Reporter @katie.dickinson@trinitymirror.com

PEOPLE have been warned not to come to hospital if they have norovirus symptoms after confirmed outbreaks in the North East.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS trust, which runs hospitals in North Tyneside and Northumberland, has one patient confirmed on one its wards with the illness.

Public Health England have confirmed that there was one outbreak in a North East hospital in October, leading to a ward closure.

That takes the total number of norovirus outbreaks in the region's hospitals to 25 so far this year.

Diane Sisterson, lead nurse for infection prevention and control at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "While people can get norovirus at any time of the year, it is particularly common during the winter where it often circulates in the community, and due to its highlyinfectious nature, can affect people in care homes and hospitals.

"To avoid the spread of norovirus, people should stay at home to recover, drink plenty of fluids and remember to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water at regular intervals.

"If you have symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea it is really important that you do not return to work until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours. For the same reason, it's also vital that you do not come into hospital either for an appointment yourself or to visit a loved one if you have had these symptoms in the last two days to reduce the risk of it being passed on.

"We'd encourage you to ring the ward to make alternative arrangements if you're not able to visit in person."

What is norovirus? Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis.

The bug is common in winter - and places with high concentrations of vulnerable people, such as children, older people and patients, are especially susceptible.

Diane Sisterson, lead nurse for infection prevention and control at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "People can get norovirus at any time of the year, though it's particularly common during the winter where it often circulates in the community, and due to its highly infectious nature, can affect people in care homes and hospitals. …

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