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Norovirus sweeps across Britain

4th January 2008

Hospital wards across England and Wales have been closed to new patients in the wake of a major outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

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Latest figures show that 56 hospital wards are affected and doctors estimate that more than 100,000 people a week are catching the norovirus bug.

The number of cases of the illness - which result in sudden vomiting and diarrhoea or fever, aches and pains – are at a five-year high.

One hospital trust has cancelled all non-urgent operations and others are trying to discourage visitors in case they bring in the virus onto wards. Sufferers are being urged not to go back to work until the symptoms have fully disappeared.

Eleven wards at the Royal Oldham Hospital were closed to new admissions, and at one stage 40 beds were unable to be used.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust cancelled all non-urgent operations up until January 9 amid what it described as the “unrelenting pressure? caused by the virus and hospitals in Bristol and Bedford have told people not to visit if they have been sick or if their visit is not essential.

The Department of Health said that ward closures were implemented to contain the virus and stop it spreading to new, potentially vulnerable patients.

Norovirus spreads by contact with an infected person, through contaminated food or water or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

The Health Protection Agency estimates the bug may cost the NHS in excess of £100m per year because of ward closures.

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Friday 1st February 2008 @ 20:34

Have just got out of bed after contracting what I think was the norovirus.Never felt so ill in my life and I have all the symptoms you mention plus profuse sweating all the time and yet feeling shivery and cold. I wretched for 24 hours without stopping and this caused me endless distress as you can imagine as I am getting on in years. Was put on water only by my doctor and today (the fourth day) have started on light solids. This illness has left me so very weak and I have no energy at all. Hope these comments may be helpful to you.

Vine

Sunday 2nd March 2008 @ 14:22

If norovirus is transmissible by contact with contaminated objects why not provide sterilized uniforms/scrubs for staff each day and ask visitors to wear clean clothes every time they visit? It might raise their awareness of hygiene overall and reduce the level of other infections such as MRSA. Surely handwashing and the use of gel is not enough.

ps I, too, am just recovering from a debilitating attack of norovirus and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, let alone a sick patient.

susan baron

Thursday 10th April 2008 @ 19:21

Last week I went incredibly dizzy and was vomitting every few minutes. Being rushed into hospital because of the severity of the symptoms I thought I would get some help. This was not to be - in fact it was just the opposite.

If the hospital could have catapulted me out they would have. With nothing told to me apart from it would pass in 3 days I felt little reassurance. Never in my life have I been so ill - even now 8 days later im still feeling quite dizzy from this violent attack of sickness.

I would recommend, with respect, that hospitals not wanting you at least discharge you with a fact sheet to help you and relatives deal with this.


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