Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Frimley Park Hopsital - Norovirus outbreak

Frimley Park Hospital is asking the public to avoid visiting patients on the wards until it has dealt with an outbreak of norovirus.

A total of 27 beds (four bays plus three single rooms) are closed to new admissions, although not all patients in these bays have been affected. Some members of staff have also been affected.

Norovirus, or winter vomiting virus, causes diarrhoea and vomiting accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever or chills. Symptoms usually last for no longer that 48hours. It is difficult to stop norovirus from entering hospitals, as it is not possible to prevent patients being admitted who are already ill with the virus. However, once in the hospital it can spread rapidly.

The public can help us contain the norovirus by not coming to visit patients at the hospital unless absolutely necessary. We would ask anyone who does visit to please observe our Visitors Code of Conduct which is designed to minimise the risk of infection.

Hand cleaning is the single most effective means to prevent the spread of any infection. Please use the hand gel each time you enter and leave the ward. Do not bring children under 10 years old to visit and most importantly do not visit at all if you are unwell or have been unwell in the past 48 hours.

If you have been unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting accompanied by flu-like symptoms and have an outpatient appointment at the hospital, please call the hospital for advice. (01276 526440 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)

The hospital is not turning away sick patients who require urgent treatment.

Mary Dunne, director of nursing, quality and patient services, said: “At present we appear to have the norovirus contained. But because norovirus can spread so easily the situation can change rapidly. Public co-operation really can make a big difference. Although norovirus rarely results in any long-term effects it can be very unpleasant for patients, visitors and staff who have it.”

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