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Norovirus warning to hospital visitors

Health professionals are warning that norovirus, sometimes known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is common in the local community at this time of year and are asking people to take care when visiting hospital.

The virus is present in places like schools, nurseries and care homes and people are being asked to be on their guard to prevent the spread of the infection.

Alastair Turnbull, Medical Director for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "In order for us to protect vulnerable patients and each other it is essential that, if someone develops symptoms of norovirus, they avoid further spread by not visiting friends or relatives in hospital or care homes.

"It is usually through this route that the infection is spread and once it is in a hospital it means bays have to be closed reducing the number of beds available to other sick patients. Taking precautions with hygiene, especially washing hands regularly with soap and water, is one of the most effective ways of stopping the virus.

"When visitors come to the hospital we ask that they follow guidance, which includes always washing their hands before and after visiting. This is to keep the virus contained and to help visitors to keep themselves safe as well as their friends or relatives."

24 December 2014

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Most people recover within one or two days from norovirus, however if symptoms persist (more than 48 hours), the advice is not to come to A&E but to phone the GP or NHS 111.

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