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Norovirus outbreak in hospital

26 March 2010

People who do not need to visit the General Hospital this weekend are being asked to restrict their visiting following an outbreak of Norovirus, which is also occurring in the UK.

Currently, a ward in the hospital is affected, as is another at Overdale, which includes a total of 19 patients and 25 nursing staff. Increased environmental cleaning has started, and this will happen on a daily basis, or more frequently. Some care homes are also affected. They are taking all due precautions and will restrict visiting as needed.

Speaking about the outbreak, Dr Ivan Muscat said "To ensure containment of the infection, which has been identified to be Norovirus, Portelet ward at the General Hospital and Samares ward at Overdale Hospital have been closed to admissions and visiting has been restricted.

"We wish to assure members of the public that clinical management of the patients in the affected wards and care homes will not be compromised. Members of the public are asked not to visit the hospital or care homes if they have symptoms which include diarrhoea with or without nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain and / or fever. Should you develop these symptoms, you're advised to visit your GP.

"The situation will be reviewed at least daily by senior hospital managers, public health and community infection control," added Dr Muscat.

"We stress that the most single effective way to prevent spread is with handwashing, using soap and water, and to clean up any spills immediately using a bleach based disinfectant if appropriate."


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