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Ashford's William Harvey Hospital ward shut for week after norovirus outbreak

ByCharlie Harman

Part of a hospital ward has been shut for a week following an outbreak of norovirus.

A section of Cambridge K at Ashford's William Harvey Hospital in Ashford was closed after a case of the winter vomiting bug was identified.

Norovirus can spread very quickly, necessitating a quarantine
Norovirus can spread very quickly, necessitating a quarantine

The bay has been in quarantine for seven days as an infection control measure, but it is expected to reopen today following a deep clean.

A spokesman for the East Kent Hospitals Trust, which operates the medical centre, said: “This is standard practice in any hospital when there are concerns about an infection such as norovirus.

“In order to protect our patients, and vulnerable members of the community, we may close areas of a ward if we suspect someone has norovirus.

“This means no new patients can be admitted, and people cannot be discharged, until it has been 48 hours since any symptoms were observed. It is part of a range of infection control measures to help prevent it spreading.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. People can help us by not visiting hospitals if they have experienced sickness or diarrhoea in the past 48 hours and practising good hand hygiene.

A bay has been closed in the Ashford William Harvey Hospital. Picture: Paul Amos
A bay has been closed in the Ashford William Harvey Hospital. Picture: Paul Amos

“Alcohol gels do not kill norovirus, and regularly washing hands with soap and warm water is the best way to stop it being passed on.”

The main symptoms of the illness - which appear within a day or two of contracting the bug - are sickness, fever and abdominal pains.

It is very contagious, being passed in food and through close contact with an infected person.

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