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Norwich hospital restricts ward’s visiting access to combat norovirus sickness bug

11:12 15 December 2012

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

Visitors’ access to a Norwich hospital ward has been restricted to prevent an infectious sickness bug from spreading.

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The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N), in Colney Lane, says it has had confirmed cases of norovirus among patients but there are currently no ward closures.

But visiting to Elsing Ward is restricted, with people told to contact the ward first before they arrive.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, has also confirmed it has had no norovirus since earlier in the year, although warned “it’s only a matter of time” if it is widespread in the community.

The N&N’s Elsing ward lists its speciality as “medicine for the elderly”, with visiting times from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm. People are able arrange visits outside of these hours.

An N&N spokesman said today: “As normal for this time of year with it being the winter norovirus season we’ve seen small pockets from time to time of patients infected with the norovirus across the trust, which in a 1,000 bedded hospital is a tiny percentage.

“However, we continue to remain vigilant at all times and encourage that all those visiting us to be equally vigilant and not to visit if they have been ill or in close contact with someone who has been ill with the virus in the last 48 hours.

“No wards have been closed to visitors, although Elsing Ward has restricted visiting and anyone wanted to visit that ward should contact the ward first.”

NHS advice states the first sign of norovirus is usually a sudden sick feeling followed by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

Other symptoms may also include a raised temperature, headaches, stomach cramps and aching limbs.

Most people make a fully recovery within a couple of days.

A Queen Elizabeth Hospital spokesman said: “We have had no norovirus here since earlier this year, although it’s only a matter of time, if it’s widespread in the community.

“We are remaining vigilant and continue to urge staff, visitors and patients to maintain a high level of hand hygiene.”

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