Western Trust issue Norovirus guidelines as winter vomiting bug strikes schools across the city

Hand washing is key to containing the spread of this highly infectious condition


Laura Hamilton; Infection, Prevention and Control Nurse, Wendy Doherty; Head of Infection, Prevention and Control and Clare Robertson; Infection, Prevention Control Nurse.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust  is asking everyone to help stop the spread of the Norovirus by following a few simple steps. 

Visitors should not visit hospital if they or any of their family at home has vomiting, diarrhoea, coughs, cold, flu or any other infectious conditions. Please wait until at least 48 hours or two days from symptoms have ended before you visit the hospital.

Hand hygiene is the most important method of preventing and controlling the spread of infections and it is extremely important that all visitors wash their hands with liquid soap and water before and after visiting. Alcohol hand sanitiser can also be used When visiting your relative or friend, please do not sit on their bed or touch any equipment that is around them. Children under two should not visit any ward.

Visitors are also reminded to visit only one patient or one ward whilst at the hospital and not move from ward to ward when visiting, as this can increase the risk of the spread of infection.

Wendy Cross, Head of Infection, Prevention and Control at the Western Trust said: “We are asking for the public’s help to prevent and control the spread of infections in our hospitals. Good hand hygiene is central to this and it still remains the simplest, most effective method of preventing the spread of infection.

“Disruption caused by norovirus outbreaks have the potential to affect both patients and staff and could severely impact on the day-to-day running of the hospital. In order to try to minimise the potential for outbreaks this year we are asking for the commitment from each individual patient, visitor and member of staff by following our simple steps, to ensure that infection prevention and control is a fundamental priority.”

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