A WARD has been closed at Hereford County Hospital after a norovirus outbreak.

Visiting has been stopped to Redbrook ward as health bosses try to prevent the further spread of diarrhoea and vomiting which is affecting some patients.

Alison Johnson, consultant microbiologist at Hereford County Hospital, said: “Relatives, carers or anyone with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not visit wards or any areas of our hospitals until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.

“This kind of outbreak can put vulnerable patients at risk and cause unnecessary illness for other patients who we are caring for.

“Visitors to all areas of the hospital are requested to practice good hand hygiene and use the alcohol gels available in all wards/departments in order to prevent any further spread of infection”.

Wye Valley NHS Trust is reminding people of steps to take to stop the virus spreading:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, particularly after using the toilet, and before preparing food. If you’re in an NHS facility pay attention to hand hygiene notices such as using hand gel upon entering and leaving a ward.
  • Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with a norovirus. It is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner. Always follow the instructions on the cleaning product.
  • Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet. You should also keep the surrounding toilet area clean and hygienic.
  • Wash any clothing, or linens, which could have become contaminated with a norovirus. Washing with hot, soapy water will help to ensure that the virus is killed.

Although people usually recover without treatment in 24 to 72 hours, it is important to stay away from work, school, college or any social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.