23 June 2011
Islanders who have diarrhoea and vomiting are being asked to avoid coming into the hospital as there is an increased incidence of norovirus at the moment.
Consultant microbiologist Dr Ivan Muscat said “There is an increase in the frequency of norovirus type symptoms in the community. The features, which usually last up to 3 days, include one or more of diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, feeling off colour and vomiting. The vast majority of patients simply require rest at home and adequate fluid intake. Good personal and kitchen hygiene together with appropriate cleaning of toilet areas and spills will help to reduce spread. Hands should be washed with soap and water, alcohol hand rubs are not reliable against norovirus.
“If an individual believes they have a noroviral infection and is concerned they should contact their GP in the first instance and avoid attending the Emergency Department unless absolutely essential. Individuals, including visitors and relatives, who believe they may be infected should avoid coming to the hospital until about 48 hours after clearance of their symptoms.
“While we would stress that numbers are not high at the moment continuing reports of increased activity across the community suggests that it would be prudent to take measures to reduce the risk of spread, and in particular to reduce the risk of a significant introduction into the hospital, at this stage. We are therefore asking relatives and friends of patients not to visit if they have had any vomiting or diarrhoea."
As always the Health and Social Services Department are working with GPs and other colleagues to ensure that due precaution is being undertaken across the board.