This in from the Island NHS, in their own words. Ed
One confirmed case and two suspected cases of Norovirus (Viral gastroenteritis) have been identified on Colwell Ward at St Mary’s Hospital in the last 24 hours.
There is strong evidence in these cases and from past Norovirus incidents that the virus is brought into hospital by either unwell patients or visitors. Isle of Wight NHS Trust has been concerned about the rise in reported cases of the virus in the Community as reported nationally by the Health Protection Agency.
Colwell Ward closed to admissions
The Trust has taken immediate action by isolating a 6 bed bay on Colwell Ward and the ward has been closed to admissions.
Those planning to visit Colwell Ward should only do so if it is essential and with immediate effect this will be at the discretion of ward staff. No children (aged 16 and under) or elderly or vulnerable adults (e.g. those with existing long term conditions) should visit Colwell Ward.
Do not visit unless essential
Sarah Johnston, Acting Executive Director of Nursing, says: “I would like to advise members of the public not to visit St Mary’s unless it is essential. If you do have to visit the hospital for any reason please make use of the hand gel and hand washing facilities provided. This is not only to protect patients who are vulnerable, but also our staff who are needed to deliver our services. Viral gastroenteritis is highly infectious.”
Stay at home if unwell
It is vital that anyone who is feeling unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, planning to visit their friend or relative in hospital, nursing or a residential home, stays at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop to avoid the spread of infection.
Keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids is very important, particularly for the elderly and the very young who are most at risk. If the symptoms persist, telephone NHS 111. Further details of symptoms are available on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk.
Good hygiene is important during outbreaks of norovirus as it is highly contagious. To prevent becoming infected it is very important to wash your hands with soap and water after you have been around someone who is ill. Thorough cleaning of hard surfaces with a bleach solution, paying particular attention to the toilet and toilet area will help to reduce the spread of the virus.