People attending appointments or visiting patients at Black Country hospitals are being urged to make sure they stay away if they have sickness and diarrhoea to avoid spreading infection.
Norovirus, often referred to as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is easily transmissible and in order to reduce the risk of the spread of infection a ward has closed at Walsall Manor Hospital and bed bays have closed at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust want to protect patients, their families and carers as well as their own staff and are urging anyone with any symptoms to refrain from visiting the hospitals.
Lisa Carroll and Debra Hickman, Directors of Nursing at Walsall and Wolverhampton respectively, said: “Norovirus is 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 infection due to being ill, or with weakened immunity.
“While we are doing all we can within our hospital environments we also need the public’s help. Anyone who has sickness and diarrhoea or has experienced these symptoms within the last 48 hours, is being asked to notify us that they will not be attending their appointment and not to visit. This is an unpleasant bug that will lay most people low for a couple of days but for those who have additional health conditions it can cause more serious issues too.
“We’re asking people to make sure they wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and not just rely on hand gel when coming into our hospitals to help us reduce the risk too.”
People with norovirus need to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Anyone worried about symptoms, or if their symptoms persist, should contact their Pharmacy, GP or NHS 111 online.