Ward at Knoll set to reopen after sickness outbreak

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AT the time of going to press, an NHS spokesperson confirmed that a ward at the Knoll Hospital, Duns was “scheduled to reopen” after being closed last week due to an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea.

A decision was made last Thursday, February 16, to close the ward after 11 patients and two members of staff were struck down with gastrointestinal symptoms.

NHS Borders explained that this was a precautionary measure and the ward would be closed until further notice.

Most of those affected were suffering the symptoms commonly associated with a virus and no patients were giving cause for concern.

Staff at the Knoll Hospital have worked closely with the Infection Control Team to put in control measures while the cause of the infection was determined and friends and relatives of patients were urged to consider postponing visits to the hospital at the end of the week.

Those who chose to visit were told not to move around the hospital and only go to the area they needed to visit.

Orders were given for children not to be brought into the Knoll and visitors were limited to one per patient.

The winter period is often associated with an increase in the type of virus which prompted the ward closure.

Common symptoms are diarrhoea and/or vomiting generally lasting for between 12 and 72 hours.

Other symptoms can include headache, fever and muscle aches. Anyone can get these infections but the very young and old can suffer most.

NHS Borders senior infection control nurse, Adam Wood told The Berwickshire News: “It is important that anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting should avoid visiting people in care homes or hospitals until they have been free from symptoms for at least 48 hours as they still may be infectious.”