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Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk Hospital closes two wards after suspected norovirus outbreak

17:31 26 February 2014

West Suffolk Hospital

West Suffolk Hospital

Archant

Two wards at West Suffolk Hospital have been closed after more than 20 patients showed symptoms of norovirus.

The hospital said around 21 patients have shown symptoms of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus during the past week. Wards G3 and G5 were closed to new admissions on Saturday.

Anyone visiting has been urged to take extra care to wash their hands with soap and water both on arrival and when leaving the hospital, while anyone who has shown symptoms of the virus has been asked to stay away.

Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “Norovirus is very infectious and every year there are cases in the community which transfer to the hospital.

“Because the virus has an incubation period of several days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.

“We would advise anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting to stay away from the hospital for at least 72 hours after they have recovered, even if they feel better. Otherwise they run the risk of unknowingly passing the highly contagious illness on to someone who is already sick.

“Anyone who visits the hospital should be vigilant and take care to clean their hands. If they are visiting the affected ward, they should use soap and water when they arrive and before they leave as the alcohol gel is not effective against this virus.”

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