Newsdate: 24 February 2012
The number of people affected by diarrhoea and vomiting in the community has gone up again.
Dr Kate Ardern, Director of Public Health for the Borough of Wigan, said, “We know that these viruses are already circulating widely in the community. For example we have seen local nursing homes and nurseries affected. We are asking that anyone who is considering visiting relatives or friends within hospital, nursing home or residential home not to visit if they have any symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the previous 48 hours. Should this virus get into a nursing home or a hospital, it can make residents or patients, who are already vulnerable, more seriously ill.”
“Norovirus symptoms (diarrhoea and vomiting) can be best treated by staying at home, drinking plenty of fluids and getting some rest. Information from the Public Health Department has been sent to all GPs and local Pharmacists in order to promote self-treatment where appropriate rather than seek admission to hospital. Advice is also available online from NHS Choices and from NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.”
Advice on how to treat the illness can be obtained from GPs and local Pharmacists. Hospital treatment is only necessary for people who have become very dehydrated and require intravenous fluids. This is unusual, but can happen in young children and older people.
Gill Harris, Director of Infection Prevention and Control for Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust said, “We have already had to restrict visiting in January of this year and again the last thing we need is for patients and staff to be affected by this virus. This could again ultimately lead to staff shortage, additional bed pressures and appointments being postponed. We are appealing to members of the public to be sensible and avoid attending or visiting our hospitals if they are affected by the symptoms so that we do not have to restrict visiting to wards.”