Published: 16:51, 07 November 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
A ward at Medway Maritime Hospital was shut for five days after an outbreak of the potentially life-threatening Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug.
Hospital staff have asked visitors to stay away if they have symptoms, after seven cases of the sickness were diagnosed.
Last Thursday the Will Adams general medical ward was closed and was not re-opened until Tuesday after a thorough hygiene check.
Linda Dempster, head of infection prevention and control, said: "It is imperative that hospital visitors who have been unwell or who have had contact with patients with diarrhoea and vomiting do not visit the hospital until they have been symptom-free for 72 hours."
The bug is typically associated with the winter months and, since the start of November, the hospital has seen an increase in the number of patients showing signs of it.
Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK and can affect all ages. Strict infection prevention and control precautions are put in place for affected sufferers.
Symptoms usually begin about 12 to 48 hours after the patient is infected and can last for 12 to 60 hours.
The illness starts with a sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and/or watery diarrhoea.
There is no specific treatment so sufferers are advised to let the illness take its course and drink lots of fluids.
It can, however, be dangerous for the very young, elderly, sick or frail.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.