Borders hospital ward open again after norovirus outbreak

Borders General Hospital.
Borders General Hospital.

A ward at Borders General Hospital closed to new admissions due to a norovirus outbreak is open again.

Ward 12 at the Melrose hospital reopened today after being closed for over a week.

The norovirus outbreak was the hospital’s second in four months following another in Ward 12 in February, and medics are urging visitors to take precautions to help them prevent another.

Evelyn Rodger, director of nursing at NHS Borders, said: “Although Borders General Hospital and our community hospitals currently have no ward closures, this can change very quickly.

“In order to safeguard vulnerable patients and enable us to limit the spread of this highly infectious virus, we continue to ask members of the public to carefully consider their visits to the hospital, and that anyone who has experienced diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms in the past 48 hours does not visit the hospital.

“I would like to thank the public for responding to the requests that we have made in relation to the recent outbreak over the past week.

“Norovirus is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea and vomiting illness.

“It is very infectious and spreads quickly between people. This is why outbreaks happen in hospitals where a number of people are sharing facilities.

“However, it doesn’t just occur in hospitals and can start abruptly and spread quickly through communities.

“The most effective way you can help to reduce spread is by hand-washing after using the toilet and before preparing food.

“It is vital to protect yourselves and your loved ones from catching this unpleasant virus.

“In hospitals, patients, visitors and staff can help minimise the spread by complying with instructions given by staff and paying attention to the signs at the entrances to the hospital and wards.”

For further updates, visit www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk.