Norovirus closes ward at Medway Maritime Hospital
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
Symptoms usually begin about
12 to 48 hours after the patient is infected and can last for 12 to
The illness starts with a
sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and/or
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.
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