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Right Arrow Winter vomiting bug closes hospital ward
28 January 2016 at 11:46
An outbreak of a winter vomiting bug has closed a Merseyside hospital ward.

Three cases of norovirus were confirmed this week on Ward 7b at Southport and Formby District General Hospital. The ward is closed to new admissions.

Andrew Chalmers, Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “Norovirus is a highly infectious sickness bug which we know is circulating in the local community.”

Friends and family are being asked to postpone visiting patients in the affected ward during the outbreak unless absolutely necessary. The ward is undergoing enhanced cleaning and disinfection.

Andrew added: “Instances of diarrhoea and vomiting are always investigated when they occur in hospital. As a precaution we may close bays within wards while we investigate the cause, which is usually due to a patient’s medical condition rather than infection.”

Symptoms of norovirus include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

The illness usually resolves in one or two days and there are no long-term effects. If you are affected, stay at home, stay hydrated by drinking adequate fluids, wash your hands after using the toilet and prior to eating, and clean contaminated surfaces.

In particular, anyone who has experienced sickness or diarrhoea in the past 48 hours should stay away from hospitals and other healthcare providers, as either a visitor or a patient, except in a genuine medical emergency.

Issued by Tony Ellis, Marketing and Communications Manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494
Twitter @SONHSTrust

Notes for editors

1. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust manages Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital, and is responsible for many community healthcare services for adults in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. We also provide sexual health services across Sefton and West Lancashire. The North West Regional Spinal Injuries is hosted by the Trust from Southport hospital. In 2014/15, we saw 270,141 outpatients; treated 59,808 inpatients; made 280,831 home visits in the community; supported the birth of 2,747 babies; and attended to 110,620 urgent care cases.

2. Use A&E wisely. A&E is for people facing emergencies and life-threatening situations such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes. That’s why you might be better examining your options first and choosing another NHS service – or even treating yourself. Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol. You should contact a GP or the GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away. Alternatively, West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital and Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse are open all year round. Please note the last appointment to see a nurse is an hour before closing time. Local pharmacies and NHS Choices are also a good source of information and advice.