Norovirus outbreak closes three wards at Noble’s Hospital

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THREE wards have been closed at Noble’s Hospital after an outbreak of norovirus.

Wards 9, 20 and Grainagh Court have had a small number of patients and staff reporting symptoms - suggestive of norovirus infection. Norovirus has been confirmed in some of these cases.

Following the closure of the three affected wards, they have been closed to all new admissions.

Alternative arrangements have been put into place by the mental health service and Noble’s and patient care will not be affected.

Planned admissions and outpatient appointments will continue as normal.

The Department of Health offered the following advice to patientsL

1. Visiting restrictions are in place in the three affected wards. Please do not visit them unless essential (the restrictions will be lifted once the ward has been free of norovirus cases for 72 hours). Please co-operate with the staff in implementing these precautions; they are for your own safety and the safety of the patients.

2. If you have symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhoea, do not attend Accident & Emergency (A&E) at Noble’s Hospital, Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Ramsey & District Cottage Hospital, your GP surgery or Manx Emergency Doctors (MEDs). If you need medical advice, contact your doctor by telephone.

3. Wait for 48 hours after the end of all your symptoms before returning to work or school, as you continue to shed the virus for 48 hours after you have completely recovered. Do not visit any hospitals or old people’s homes during this period.

4. Follow strict hygiene precautions if anyone at home has diarrhoea and/or vomiting. This includes scrupulous washing of hands, thorough cleaning of vomit using diluted bleach, cleaning toilet bowls with bleach.

Norovirus is a well-known cause of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. The symptoms start suddenly, and subside in two to three days in most people.

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