THE BASINGSTOKE and North Hampshire Hospital has been struck by the Norovirus – with restricted visiting hours in operation and a deep clean process underway this week.
The Norovirus causes diarrhoea and vomiting and is highly contagious.
Visiting hours have been restricted to one hour per day, during the evening, from 6pm to 7pm at the Basingstoke hospital, following the outbreak.
The Hampshire Hospital Trust was unable to provide the date the outbreak started, or number of patients affected, but confirmed on Monday (April 25) that no wards had been closed. Affected patients were being cared for in side rooms, according to the trust.
The trust released the following statement on Monday (April 25):
“Seasonal diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V) is widespread in the community and putting additional pressure on hospitals across England.
Staff at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are controlling the spread of the infection by asking people who are experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea, or flu-like symptoms, not to visit hospital unless absolutely necessary.
Dr Kordo Saeed, director of infection prevention and control, said: “If you have D&V symptoms it is best to stay away from GP waiting rooms and the Emergency Department if possible to prevent spreading the bug.
“Unless you need emergency medical help, its best to stay at home, rest and keep sipping water to stay hydrated. If you have been ill with diarrhoea or vomiting, please don’t visit the hospital for at least 48 hours after your last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea to help avoid spreading the infection to others.
“To help prevent the spread of infection, we have restricted visiting times at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital to one hour between 6pm and 7pm (except critical care and maternity).
“Call NHS 111 if you are need medical advice, while washing your hands with soap and water is the best defence against infection. Gels alone are not effective against norovirus.”
Symptoms include: suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Slight fever, headaches and painful stomach cramps are among other possible symptoms, which appear two to three days after infection, and last two to three days.
Hospital visitors with exceptional circumstances should contact the ward concerned to discuss visiting arrangements.