Virus hits hospital

PUBLISHED: 09:30 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:58 10 June 2010

A WARD at Exmouth Hospital has been closed to new patients because of a vomiting and diarrhoea virus. Hospital bosses took the decision after several cases of the winter bug norovirus were confirmed. The highly-contagious virus has already led to eight

A WARD at Exmouth Hospital has been closed to new patients - because of a vomiting and diarrhoea virus.Hospital bosses took the decision after several cases of the winter bug norovirus were confirmed.The highly-contagious virus has already led to eight wards being closed at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) and two wards at Tiverton Hospital.Jane Barr, interim lead nurse, infection control, for Devon Primary Care Trust, said: "At Exmouth, one ward is closed to new admissions because of norovirus and will be deep cleaned. We have no date for reopening. "One ward remains open for admissions."While it is serious, we have a lot of experience with dealing with an outbreak."Although the virus is rarely dangerous, it is unpleasant and highly contagious.People are being urged not to visit patients at affected wards until further notice and to stay away from hospitals if they have suffered diarrhoea and vomiting in the past 48 hours.The incubation period for the virus is between 24 and 48 hours. This is followed by severe and sudden projectile vomiting, diarrhoea and fever symptoms which last about 48 hours.Patients due for treatment and who have had symptoms - or been close to someone infected - are asked to contact their hospital for advice.Hospital visitors are urged to keep away children, especially babies, because they are more vulnerable to germs. They are also being asked to wash hands before and after leaving wards.People with symptoms should not to go to their doctor's surgeries because of the risk of them passing on the virus. Instead, they should telephone the doctor if the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours.The director of operations at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E), Elaine Hobson, said: "We are concerned that, despite the publicity and notices throughout the hospital, people are still coming to see relatives and friends when this could compromise our infection control measures - and put their own well-being at risk."The wards currently closed at the RD&E are Kenn, Bovey, Clyst, Avon, Okement, Durbin and Bolham, with one bay on Culm Ward also affected.l People should contact Exmouth Hospital on (01395) 279684 and the RD&E on (01392) 411611 for any more information.

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