HSE urges norovirus awareness as Stranorlar restrictions remain

st joseph's Stranorlar

The HSE has confirmed that visiting restrictions remain in place at St Joseph’s, Hospital, Stranorlar due to a number of suspected cases of the winter vomiting bug.

The restrictions will remain in place until the situation is resolved, and the HSE says all appropriate infection control measures are being taken.

In meantime, people are being urged to help protect the spread of the virus by protecting their health and adhering strictly to visiting restrictions and hygiene guidelines when visiting nursing homes, hospitals and health services.

Public Health Specialist Dr Anthony Breslin says it is a particular problem at this time of year...........

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HSE statement in full -

At this time of year there is an increase in the numbers of people who have Norovirus (winter vomiting bug) in the community.  To help curtail the spread of the ‘Winter Vomiting bug’, the North West Public Health Department is appealing to the public to take precautions to protect their health and to adhere strictly to visiting restrictions and hygiene guidelines when visiting nursing homes, hospitals and health services.

 

Dr. Anthony Breslin, HSE Public Health Specialist says, “Norovirus is a common cause of gastroenteritis; it does not usually cause serious illness, but it is very easily spread. People who contract it can be infectious for 48 hours after they recover.”

 

“When it gets into hospitals or nursing homes, it can cause serious disruption, for example ward closures, cancelled operations and added pressure on emergency departments. It is important that ill and vulnerable patients in these settings do not become more ill than they already are. So pleasecooperate with your local hospital/ nursing home policy on visiting.”

 

Without the cooperation of the public this virus can spread very quickly throughout nursing homes and hospitals, causing discomfort to patients and disruption to services. To reduce the likelihood of spread of norovirus it is important to remember the following:

 

  • If you have recently had vomiting / diarrhoea, do not visit a hospital or nursing home until you have been well for 48 hours.
  • If your child has had vomiting / diarrhoea, they should not go to school/crèche until they have been well for 48 hours.

 

To stop spread of Norovirus at home and in the community:

 

  • At home, wash your hands regularly with hot water after using the toilet and when touching food.
  • If someone vomits at home, use hot water and detergent to clean up any soiling and wash your hands thoroughly after.
  • If you are sick you should remain off work until you have been well for 48 hours.
  • Treatment; there is no specific treatment for norovirus apart from sipping plenty of clear fluids such as water or flat lemonade.

 

Symptoms will usually last only a day or two but can, occasionally last longer. If you are concerned (e.g. prolonged vomiting/diarrhoea especially in small children and elderly people), telephone your GP for advice¸ to reduce the possibility of bringing norovirus into the

GP surgery.