Sufferers of Norovirus have been urged to stay away from hospitals and nursing homes to prevent the spread of the virus.
Norovirus is a very infectious vomiting and diarrhoea bug which generally lasts for 24-48 hours.
Southern Health and Social Care Trust Medical Director Dr Richard Wright says: “We always ask people to respect our visiting guidance to protect vulnerable patients in our hospitals and nursing homes, but it is particularly important at present whilst we have this current widespread infection across the community.
“Our staff work tirelessly to ensure that Southern Trust hospitals have some of the lowest levels of infection and they can be placed in a very difficult position having to remind visitors of the rules.
“So I would appeal to everyone, particularly as we move into the busy winter period when there are more infections in the community, to please assist us in our continued drive against infection and in ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.”
It’s not always possible to avoid getting Norovirus, but following the advice below can help stop the virus spreading.
Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Don’t rely on hand gels, as they do not kill the virus.
Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated. It’s best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately to ensure the virus is killed.
Flush away any vomit or diarrhoea spills in the toilet and clean the surrounding area.
Do not visit anyone in hospital or a nursing home until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.
Seek medical advice if you are concerned about:
• Affected babies, small children or the elderly as they may need help being rehydrated,
• An underlying medical condition or illness,
• Symptoms which last more than three days.
Southern Trust Visiting information http://www.southerntrust.hscni.net/1640.htm
Further tips to help yourself, your family, and when visiting hospitals or care homes can be accessed from http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/sites/default/files/Norovirus_Leaflet_01_14.pdf