Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is urging people who have symptoms of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus, which is extremely contagious and spreads rapidly, to stay at home and call NHS 111 for advice.
When Norovirus affects patients in hospitals, wards are often closed to visitors to stop spread within the hospital, but we know that norovirus can sometimes inadvertently be brought into hospitals from the community by visitors.
“Hospitals work incredibly hard to ensure that bugs can’t spread from patient to patient, or ward to ward,” says Dina McAlpine, Director of Nursing and Quality at NHS Wiltshire CCG. “But all these efforts can be undone by someone who comes into hospitals as a visitor while they are still carrying a bug such as Norovirus, so please don’t visit a hospital until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.”
“An attack of norovirus is unpleasant for anyone, but if you’re already ill, elderly or otherwise vulnerable – as people in hospitals and care homes generally are – catching the virus can be more serious”, added Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP from Market Lavington Surgery and Clinical Chair for Wiltshire CCG.
Norovirus is characterised by projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people also experience a raised temperature, headaches, painful stomach cramps, and/or aching limbs. Symptoms usually appear one to two days after a person becomes infected but they can start sooner.
The advice from NHS Wiltshire CCG is: