Bays at Borders General Hospital have been closed and visitors discouraged due to patients experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms.
Ward 12, a bay in Ward 16 and a bay in the Stroke Unit in the BGH are currently closed to admissions as a precaution.
The situation is being managed by NHS Borders Infection Prevention and Control Team with support from frontline colleagues.
Visitors to Ward 12 are strongly discouraged at this time, and relatives and carers are asked to carefully consider their visits to the hospital. The general advice is to stay away from any hospital ward if you or anyone in your family has experienced symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the past 48 hours.
Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services says: “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.
“Action by patients, visitors and staff can help support us to deliver safe patient care and minimise the impact of a potential norovirus outbreak, and we are urging visitors to comply with any instructions you are given by staff or you see on signs at the entrances to wards. This is vital to protect yourselves and your loved ones from catching this unpleasant virus, particularly as your friends or family members currently in hospital may be more vulnerable to the virus than usual.
“Thank you for your cooperation.”
Common symptoms of Norovirus 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 and it can be serious in the very young, frail or older people who are vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.
Treatment for Norovirus in most cases requires drinking more fluids than usual and resting to give your body a chance to fight the infection. Because it is a virus, antibiotics will not help.
NHS24 provides comprehensive up-to-date health information and self care advice by telephone on 111 or on their website at www.nhs24.co.uk.
If you are worried, you should call NHS 24 or your local health centre or GP.