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Precautions are taken to beat the bug at GWH
VISITORS to the Great Western Hospital are being urged to take extra precautions following a closure of four patient bays due to norovirus.
Norovirus, known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the country and can affect people of all ages.
It is highly contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea, and national figures this week show the number of cases has exceeded 1.1m in the UK.
So far this winter, there have been no ward closures at GWH, but visitors are being encouraged to be extra careful.
A spokesperson for the hospital said: “Norovirus is prevalent in the community at this time of year.
“In the last month we have had no ward closures due to the virus. “As of today we currently have four bays closed on Jupiter Ward with suspected norovirus, but the ward is not closed.
“Where possible we work to manage suspected outbreaks without closing wards. Patients on the bays will be kept under observation.
“We always have to be on guard to prevent the spread of the infection, protecting vulnerable patients and each other.
“We ask all visitors to the hospital to help us protect our patients and themselves, by washing their hands thoroughly and making use of the alcohol hand gel available outside every ward and unit.
“Anyone who has experienced vomiting or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours or who has been in contact with anyone suffering from the symptoms should not visit the hospital.”
There is no specific cure for norovirus, so sufferers are advised to let it run its course, but it should not last more than a couple of days. If you get norovirus, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and practise good hygiene to help prevent it from spreading.
If you have norovirus, the following steps should help ease your symptoms: l Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
l Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.
l If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest.
l Stay at home and don’t go to the doctor, because norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it.
l However, contact your GP to seek advice if your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness.
l Extra care should be taken to prevent babies and small children who are vomiting or have diarrhoea from dehydrating, by giving them plenty of fluids. Babies and young children can still drink milk.
Pregnant women who get norovirus are reminded that there is no risk to your unborn child.