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Hospital braced for winter sickness bug

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

THE GASTRIC flu epidemic sweeping Britain does not appear to have reached Ipswich - yet.

Although Ipswich Hospital is seeing small outbreaks of other infections typical for this time of year, the indications are that they are not the virus which causes projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

THE GASTRIC flu epidemic sweeping Britain does not appear to have reached Ipswich – yet.

Although Ipswich Hospital is seeing small outbreaks of other infections typical for this time of year, the indications are that they are not the virus which causes projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

That virus was first detected in Stirling, Scotland last week, and it spread through Glasgow, Manchester and down to the southern counties of Hertfordshire, Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset. It has hit tens of thousands of schools, offices and factories.

In Greater Manchester, nearly 300 out of 1,000 pupils at Woodhey High School, Bury, were missing from class.

At Fowey Community College in Cornwall, 535 pupils out of 1,100 were hit by the virus, and at the Newhaven Tideway secondary school in East Sussex, entire year groups have been sent home because so many teachers have the bug.

Spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital Jan Rowsell said it was not unusual for people to fall ill with infections at this time of year, and some go into hospital already having a virus, while others who have had operations are more vulnerable to infection on the wards.

She said: "Staff are being very rigorous in trying to limit the risk of spreading infection, by using basic hygiene methods like thorough hand-washing for example.

"There has been, and are infections in the hospital at the moment, but they have been limited to very small numbers of people affected.

"We did have a sickness bug and one bay of a ward was closed and deep cleaned.

"Indications are that the cases we have seen are not the same bug as the one which is spreading across the country."

She added that the hospital has early warning systems in place so outbreaks could be spotted, and action taken to contain them.

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