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Three wards at Derriford Hospital are still closed by virus

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: December 10, 2012

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Three wards at Derriford Hospital remain closed by the winter vomiting bug.

A hospital spokeswoman said last night that they expected Monkswell, Shipley and Burrator wards to be reopened some time this week.

Debbie Brenton, on-call trust manager, said the outbreak of Norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, was making it difficult for people to visit family and friends in hospital and “sometimes we are a little tight on beds”.

She said visitors should stick to rules on hand hygiene, and urged anyone who thought they might be carrying the bug to stay away from the hospital.

Meanwhile, a primary school that was forced to close after an outbreak was due to reopen today. The highly contagious bug that is sweeping the city forced Knowle Primary School in West Park, to close on Friday.

Judy Milford, Knowle Street Primary School headteacher, said around 50 children and staff members had been sent home as a result of sickness on Thursday morning.

The buildings were to be deep cleaned over the weekend with the aim of opening as usual today.

Dr Virginia Pearson, director of public health for the NHS in Devon, told The Herald: “Our hospitals are looking after people who are unwell and may have reduced immunity. They are more likely to catch Norovirus.”

She said anyone who has been feeling unwell recently, particularly experiencing any symptoms of diarrhoea, sickness or nausea, or is recovering from a bout of sickness, should stay away from hospitals, nursing homes work or school until they have been free of symptoms for at least 72 hours.

“If you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms you could also be bringing the virus into one of our hospitals.”

The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms include a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps. Sufferers are advised by the NHS to drink plenty of water, take paracetamol for fever, aches and pains, eat foods that are easy to digest. Sufferers should not go to the doctor because Norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it, should contact their GPs if symptoms last or if they already have a serious illness.

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