Norovirus Problems Hit More Hospitals

Winter Vomiting Bug Leads To Closure Of Wards Across UK


More hospitals have joined the growing list of those which have been forced to close wards over recent weeks and issue warnings to visitors as a result of illness problems linked to the winter vomiting bug, norovirus.
New reports have revealed that three wards at Weston General Hospital in Somerset have now been closed due to norovirus, with visiting restrictions currently put in place until Sunday. In addition Ward 12 at the Hull Royal Infirmary has been closed to new admissions due to the illness.
The sites join others including Southampton General Hospital and New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, which have also been forced to close wards for a short time as a result of similar problems.
Other sites, such as schools and nurseries, can also be affected by such issues, with Oxgangs Primary School in Edinburgh recently having to temporarily close its doors due to a suspected norovirus outbreak.
NHS guidance on preventing norovirus includes:

  • Washing hands frequently and thoroughly, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food
  • Not sharing towels and flannels
  • Disinfect any potentially contaminated areas, ideally with a bleach-based household cleaner
  • Wash items of clothing or bedding that may be contaminated with the virus, preferably separately and on a hot wash to kill the virus
  • Flushing any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding area
  • Do not eat raw, unwashed produce

Expert Opinion
It is very worrying to see further reports emerge regarding hospitals that have been forced to close some wards as a result of the impact of norovirus, often referred to as the winter vomiting bug.

"Our work acting for victims of illnesses, including norovirus, means we fully understand the huge consequences that such issues can have on them, often leaving them with long-term health problems which disrupt all aspects of their lives.

"Steps must be taken to determine how the risk of such issues emerging can be minimised in future."
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner