TWO wards at Glan Clwyd Hospital have been closed to new admissions after an outbrake of the Norovirus.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is asking members of the public to help protect patients by being careful not to bring norovirus into hospital as the illness is continuing to spread widely in the population.
Tracey Cooper, the Health Board’s Assistant Director of Nursing responsible for Infection Prevention, said: “Because of the way symptoms develop, a few days after infection, some people will come into hospital who do not yet know that they have been infected. But there is a lot that people can do to help us stop it spreading further.
“This is really important for us because although people who are generally healthy will get over a case of norovirus within a few days, for people who are already ill it can be much more serious. And the restrictions we have to put on admissions means that other patients due to come into hospital may have their treatment delayed.
“The Health Board is asking the public to support us in preventing spread of infection by not coming to hospital to visit, or for an appointment, if you have had diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours, or are suffering from a flu-like illness. Please have your flu jab if you have been offered it, as that offers the best protection against flu.
“It is vital that that everyone follows the key rules to protect themselves, their families and, especially, our patients.”
The hospital have set our rules for patients when visiting the hospital; Visitors must not come into any of our hospitals if they have suffered from diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the previous 48 hours; Patients who are due to come in but have had either diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours are asked to contact the hospital first for advice, and so appropriate arrangements can be made; All visitors to our hospitals should follow the advice on the signs and notices at ward entrances and any guidance from nursing or other staff; Children should not come visiting to affected wards and everyone entering and leaving a ward must use the hand rub or wash their hands.
A spokesperson for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “The best way for members of the public to protect themselves is to ensure they wash their hands after visiting the toilet, and before eating, and avoid contact with people suffering from diarrhoea and, or vomiting.
“Although norovirus is unpleasant, for most people who are generally healthy it is a short lived illness of two or three days and does not require specialist treatment or a hospital admission.
“People with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting should ensure that they do not become dehydrated by continuing to drink plenty of fluids.”
People can get advice from their GP practice – people with active symptoms should telephone rather than attending in person to avoid infecting other people, or from NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
Advice is available online from Public Health Wales at www.wales.nhs.uk.