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Wards in Morriston Hospital and Singleton Hospital closed due to norovirus

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 17, 2012

Morriston Hospital

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TWELVE hospital wards in Swansea remain closed to visitors due to a diarrhoea and vomiting outbreak.

The advice from health chiefs is to stay away from hospitals if you are ill with a tummy bug, or have recovered from one in the last few days.

Norovirus gastroenteritis is a common cause of tummy upsets and is more prevalent in winter months.

The incubation period is anything from 24 hours to three days, and symptoms usually last 12 to 60 hours. The onset is sudden.

People usually get over it within two or three days, but remain infectious for 48 hours, and even up to 72 hours after symptoms stop.

Antibiotics have no affect on viruses, including norovirus. The illness needs to run its course.

Nicola Williams, assistant director of nursing at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said: "If you have sickness or diarrhoea, stay at home for at least 48 hours from the last time you were sick or had diarrhoea.

"Even if your symptoms have stopped, don't be tempted to pop to the shops, go back to work or school, or have friends visit before the 48 hours are up. We are especially asking that you don't visit friends or relatives in hospital as you could still pass the virus to other people during this time.

"Also, if you've been looking after someone who has diarrhoea or vomiting, please do not visit hospital for 48 hours after the last symptom was experienced. Even if you haven't got any symptoms, you could be carrying the infection and pass it on to patients in the hospital.

"Everyone can help reduce the spread of the bug by washing their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before handling food."

Ward closures listed in Swansea due to norovirus:

Morriston Hospital: Ward C, Ward D, Ward H, Ward S, Ward T, CDU and Gower.

Singleton Hospital: Ward 7, Ward 8, and Ward 9.

Cefn Coed Hospital: Dyffryn Unit.

Ystradgynlais Hospital: Tawe Ward.

Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend: Ward 2, Ward 8, Ward 19, Ward 20.

The Post asked Hywel Dda Health Board for an update on its ward closures, but did not receive a response.

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  • ABM_Health  |  December 18 2012, 12:16PM

    Norovirus is a community-based bug which is brought into hospitals, either because a patient has it when they are admitted, or because other people coming into and out of the hospital may carry the virus without symptoms, or have very recently had a bout themselves. Good hygiene is critical. Stomach bugs spread very easily and so we advise everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water, especially after going to the toilet and before preparing food. Full details on practising good hygiene, and specifically if you or a member of your family has a stomach bug, can be found in the norovirus section of our website http://tinyurl.com/88s7l95 As well as spreading easily, another thing to remember about these viruses is that some people can carry the bug and not have any symptoms at all. We are asking everyone to help us with limiting the spread of the virus as best we can. When we close wards it's not just to protect our patients who are already ill, we also don't want anyone to visit a patient with sickness / diarrhoea and then take the virus back home with them. It's just as easy for someone to bring a virus into a hospital as it is for someone to visit a patient who is ill and take the bug home, or, as you say, to pick it up in a public place. People can also still be infectious for at least 48 hours after they last had a symptom. Because of this it's also important not to go out and about for at least 48 hours after you last had a symptom (sickness / diarrhoea). We do have plans in place for when things such as this happen and these have been activated. Unfortunately, we can never predict exactly when and to what degree these things will happen. The Health Protection Agency announced last week that the number of confirmed norovirus cases are already up 72% on last year.

  • RichardCorso  |  December 17 2012, 9:04PM

    Norovirus and general cleanliness issues; 1 - We still see nurses out shopping at local stores in their uniforms. 2 - In the UK there doesn't seem to be any routine cleaning of shopping trolleys and hand baskets as they do regularly in the USA. 3 - It's good practice to wash your hands once your home following shopping at a store. With the closure of wards in several hospitals including Morriston and Bridgend there must be concerns that there are not enough A&E/medical capabilities for the Swansea Neath and Port Talbot area - "the all of the eggs in one basket operational problem". Shouldn't the Medical authorities invoke some sort of emergency plan or have we not yet reached that tipping point?

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  • clarysage50  |  December 17 2012, 12:41PM

    Why do they continue to blame hospital visitors for this bug?????? I cannot see anyone having suffered from D/V venturing far from home let alone go visiting folks in hospital - this bug originates in hospitals! Step up hygiene procedures, washing hands after visiting the toilet (you would be surprised at how many people STILL leave the toilet without washing their hand!). A case came to light recently of this bug causing havoc in a ward of six elderly ladies NONE of whom ever received visitors from outside the hospital......so where did this bug originate??

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