Ward 15 is still closed at Walsall Manor due to the norovirus stomach bug - prompting a fresh appeal to people with sickness and diarrhoea to make sure they keep away from the hospital to avoid spreading the infection.
People have also been coming to the hospital’s Emergency Department with these symptoms but need to contact their own GP or call NHS 111 to ensure staff in the department can prioritise those with life-threatening or serious conditions.
Such infections are very easily spread from person to person especially in places where groups of people are together for periods of time or where there are people more susceptible to picking up bugs due to being ill or weak or elderly, such as in care home and hospital environments.
Mr Amir Khan, Medical Director and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We currently have patients in the Manor Hospital who have tested positive for norovirus and we have had to close Ward 15 so that we can prevent the spread of infection and protect the health of our patients and their visitors.
“We are asking people not to visit hospitals and care homes to see relatives or friends if they have sickness and diarrhoea, or they have recently experienced these symptoms. This is because people may still carry the virus and infect others up to three days after their own symptoms have stopped.
“The most effective precaution against norovirus is to wash hands regularly with soap and water, and not just rely on hand gel. The symptoms last around two days and the only treatment required is to drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated. Anyone worried about symptoms, should contact their Pharmacy, GP or NHS 111 helpline by telephone, rather than turning up at the Emergency Department as this is not the most appropriate place for them.”
It is advised that children are not brought into ward areas and the number of visitors are kept to a minimum. If anyone has any concerns about being unable to visit a friend or relative on Ward 15 they should discuss this with the nurse in charge of the ward, who will consider the case of each patient on an individual basis, especially those close relatives of patients who are gravely ill. The nurse in charge can be contacted by calling the hospital’s switchboard on: 01922 721172.
People concerned about visiting a relative or friend living in a care home should phone the home beforehand for advice.