A North Lincolnshire hospital ward has been closed to new admissions for six days, due to an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting.
A Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) spokesman confirmed that ward 24 at Scunthorpe General Hospital was closed on Tuesday morning as a result of the outbreak, and is still not accepting new admissions.
Visitors who have been suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting are urged not to come to the hospital until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
Dr Peter Cowling, Trust consultant microbiologist, said of the closure: “Ward 24 is currently closed to admissions due to an outbreak or diarrhoea and vomiting.
“Patients from the ward will not be discharged to nursing or residential homes while they remain an infection risk and we have closed the ward to new admissions.
“The infection prevention and control team is reviewing the situation daily and regular and frequent disinfection is being carried out on the ward to contain the outbreak.
“This type of illness does come into the hospital from time to time, as in other hospitals across the country, and that is why we have a robust infection control policy in place to deal with such eventualities.
“This illness lasts about 24 hours and, although unpleasant, very rarely causes serious medical problems.”
Staff are also being advised not to come to work if they have symptoms and to stay off for 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped, as they will be infectious to others during this period.
There is no specific cure for the illness, which is usually mild and should not last more than a couple of days.
If you have symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting the NHS has issued this advice:
· Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
· Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains
· If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest
· Stay at home – don’t go to see your GP because norovirus is contagious and there’s nothing your GP can do while you have it
· Contact your GP to seek advice if your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness.