BORDERS General Hospital’s ward 4 has been closed to admission because several patients are suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms.
Most of those affected are suffering the symptoms commonly associated with a virus such as the winter vomiting bug and so far no patients are giving cause for concern.
Common symptoms are diarrhoea and/or vomiting generally lasting for 12-72 hours. Other symptoms can include headache, fever and muscle aches. Anyone can get the infection but the very young and old can suffer most.
Outbreaks of Norovirus often start abruptly and spread quickly in hospitals, but action by patients, visitors and staff can help minimise the impact.
Dr Hamish McRitchie, clinical chair of BGH said: “The healthcare of our patients and staff is our main concern. Staff are working with the Infection Control Team using normal infection control measures to minimise disruption.
“Visitors are asked to comply with any instructions they are given by staff and in particular, they should try to avoid going to hospital or any other healthcare facility if they or other members of their family have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting within the past 48 hours.”
Visitors are also asked to observe the following:
Children should not be brought to the hospital to visit patients in the affected areas
If visitors must visit these areas, they will be limited to two visitor per patient
Visitors should consider postponing their visits to friends or relatives in the hospital over the next few days.
Visitors should not move around the hospital and should only go to the area they need to visit.
Strict hand-washing for all visitors who must visit these wards is essential.
Although ordinary alcohol hand sanitisers may not be effective against Norovirus, they should still be used as they are very effective against other infectious disease.
Treatment for Norovirus in most cases requires drinking more fluids than usual. NHS24 provides comprehensive up-to-date health information and self care advice for people in Scotland (Contact 08454 24 24 24 www.nhs24.co.uk). Alternativelyo contact your local health clinic or GP.
Further information is available in the hospital on the areas affected, however if you plan to visit you may want to consider calling ahead to check first.