Vomiting bug hits hospitals

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THE winter vomiting bug, norovirus, has hit the region hard but the west has come off lightly.

Castle Douglas Hospital was closed this week as five patients and eight staff came down with the bug, but was due to reopen yesterday (Thursday).

Dumfries and Galloway 
Royal Infirmary recorded 72 patients and 36 staff suffering from the virus with wards 14 and 18 remaining closed to new admissions. Ward six reopened yesterday.

Newton Stewart and Galloway Community Hospitals hadn’t recorded a problem at the time of going to press.

Dr Martin Connor, consultant microbiologist and lead infec­tion control doctor, said: “It is apparent that as we are firmly in the winter period, the winter vomiting bug is being experienced throughout Dumfries and Galloway and is clearly affecting members of the public and patients living in the community.

“We cannot emphasise enough how much the support of the general public in maintaining good hygiene practice and in complying with the restrictions in place is appreciated by NHS Dumfries and Galloway.”

The advice to members of the public seeking to visit relatives and friends in hospital is that they are advised not to travel while the outbreak measures are ongoing to avoid the potential for further spread. And 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.

Any members of the public who may themselves be feeling the affects of the bug, are advised not to travel to visit.