Staff at Bassetlaw Hospital are fighting back against the seasonal round of infections this New Year with a reminder to patients and visitors not to visit hospital if they have flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea or vomiting.
Infections like flu and the norovirus bug – often nicknamed ‘winter vomiting disease’ – are becoming more common at this time of the year. Norovirus can spread quickly in close-knit areas such as hospitals, schools, nursing and residential homes.
Staff at the hospice are urging anyone who has flu-like symptoms or think they may have norovirus not to come to the emergency department or visit hospital until they have been completely symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
Maurice Madeo, the Trust’s deputy director of infection, prevention and control, also reminded people of the need for good hand hygiene in preventing infections.
“Hand hygiene is the single most important thing that we can do to prevent the spread of infections,” said Maurice.
“Norovirus is not in itself a serious illness but it can have extremely worrying consequences for hospitals. An outbreak may mean we have to restrict admissions to hospital wards in order to contain the infection.”
“That’s why it’s so important not to visit hospital until you have been symptom-free with no nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea for at least 48 hours. If you visit hospital before then, you could still unwittingly pass your norovirus onto hospital patients and staff. Although very unpleasant, norovirus usually clears up in a couple of days and most people can care for themselves with paracetamol and plenty of fluids.”