The Chief Nurse at St Mary’s Hospital is asking the public for their continuing help in reducing the risk of cases of possible Norovirus, which is known to be circulating in the community, being brought into St. Mary’s Hospital.
Today nine patients have ongoing developed symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea that could be associated with Norovirus (viral gastroenetritis). Whilst the number has varied from day to day this is fairly typical of the number of patients affected on a daily basis at St. Mary’s since the outbreak first started on 9th June. Patients have been isolated to try and reduce the risk of the infection spreading. Areas affected have been closed to new patients and are deep cleaned once patients have been clear of the illness for at least 48 hours.
Routine inpatient admissions to and outpatient appointments at St. Mary’s are continuing as normal. However visiting restrictions remain in place with visiting times being from 2-3pm and 7-8pm but with a request that young children are not brought on visits to the hospital.
Carol Alstrom, Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention & Control said: “We had problems with Norovirus over the winter period and thanks to the co-operation of the public and our staff we managed to contain the outbreak. We have left in place restricted visiting to St. Mary’s to try and reduce the risk of infection being brought into the Hospital.
“What is vitally important is for people to keep away from the hospital if they have been unwell recently, especially if they have had vomiting or diarrhoea in the past 48 hours. Gastroenteritis is highly infectious. I would discourage parents from bringing young children into the hospital to visit friends and family at this time.
”It is also essential that those entering and leaving the hospital and indeed entering and leaving the Ward areas cleanse their hands both on entry and when they depart. The co-operation and assistance of Islanders and visitors is much appreciated as we try to reduce infections for the benefit of patients, visitors and staff alike.”
Dr Jenifer Smith, Director of Public Health and Chief Medical Adviser for the Island, adds: “If people in the community begin to show signs of infection the first step is to drink plenty of fluids. The very young and elderly should take extra care as dehydration is more common in these age groups. If the symptoms persist, they should telephone either NHS Direct (0845 46 47), their own GP Surgery or for out of hours advice, contact the Island Health Line (0845 6031 007). They can also find further details of symptoms on the NHS Direct website www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk.“