Winter vomiting bug closes wards

Sickness bug strikes at Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Sickness bug strikes at Royal Lancaster Infirmary

A ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has been closed to visitors after an outbreak of the highly-contagiousvomiting and diarrhoea bug Norovirus.

Visiting restrictions have been placed on Ward 36 at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and there are no admissions, transfers or discharges to other areas from the affected bays to try to contain the bug.

Seven patients have been affected in total.

Currently five patients are suspected to have the bug.

Three members of staff were sick and have now recovered.

Executive Chief Nurse Sue Smith said strict infection control measures were put in place immediately in place when the bug was confirmed last Tuesday and are being overseen by the Trust’s infection control specialists.

She said: “Our priority is the safety of our patients.

“We have put measures in place to try to prevent the spread of this highly-contagious infection and we are monitoring the situation very closely.

“Despite being known as a winter bug, it is also common in summer when the source is usually food-related. We believe this bug came in from a visitor and urge anyone who has had diarrhoea and vomiting to stay away from all hospitals until at least 48 hours after the last symptoms have gone as they may still be infectious.

“Patients and visitors can also help us to control the infection by washing their hands regularly when entering and leaving the ward area, before eating and after visiting the toilet.”

There are designated nurses and domestic staff for affected areas.