Wards closed as virus hits hospital

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THE highly infectious norovirus – or “winter vomiting bug” – has struck Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary for the second time in a few months.

The hospital has announced it is implementing full outbreak control measures as a result of the suspected outbreak.

As of Monday, November 5, wards nine, 12, and 18 have been closed to new admissions and transfers.

The number of people affected has risen to 30 patients and three staff.

The hospital’s infection control team is closely monitoring the situation to ensure that all appropriate infection control procedures are in place, and staff are working hard to minimise the discomfort and distress for patients and to maintain services.

Routine visiting to the closed wards is suspended and advice has been issued to members of the public.

Anyone seeking to visit relatives and friends in hospital are advised not to travel while the outbreak measures are ongoing in order to avoid the potential for further spread.

Where circumstances are such that relatives are concerned about the need to visit their loved ones in the affected wards, they are asked to contact the ward concerned before travelling to the hospital.

All members of the public visiting other areas of the hospital are asked to comply with the hand hygiene and infection control measures in place.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “Clearly this new outbreak, only a few months after the previous one, will be of a concern to patients and families. The priority now is for the NHS Dumfries and Galloway to treat those affected and to determine what caused the outbreak.

“It is absolutely right that they implement full control measures to try to contain the outbreak because it is vitally important to stop the spread of this bug.”

And Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray added: “Relatives will undoubtedly be concerned, but doctors, nurses and staff work tirelessly in the hospital to look after their patients and I know they will be doing everything they can to help those who are affected.”