Ward Closes at QE2

PUBLISHED: 14:43 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:06 26 October 2009

The QE2 Hospital

The QE2 Hospital

A WARD at the QE2 Hospital has been closed to new admissions due to the winter vomiting bug. A hospital spokesman confirmed the 29-bed ward was shut yesterday (Wednesday) following several suspected cases of gastroenteritis caused by the Norovirus. The mo

A WARD at the QE2 Hospital has been closed to new admissions due to the winter vomiting bug.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the 29-bed ward was shut yesterday (Wednesday) following several suspected cases of gastroenteritis caused by the Norovirus.

The move has been made as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the infection elsewhere in the hospital, and to ensure the affected ward returns to normal operation as quickly as possible.

It comes just days after three wards at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage were closed after experiencing similar cases.

Noel Scanlon, director of infection prevention and control at the East and North Herts NHS Trust, said: "Patients and their families/carers on the ward affected are aware of the actions being taken by our staff to protect their health, as well as that of patients and staff elsewhere in the hospital.

"Currently seven of the 29 patients on the ward are symptomatic; new patients will not be admitted until 48 hours has elapsed since the last confirmed patient has recovered from his or her infection.

"In addition, the ward will be deep cleaned to remove traces of the virus in the environment before it is reopened to admissions."

Mr Scanlon said the trust's first priority was to its patients, and visiting friends and relatives were being asked to ensure they maintained basic hygiene at all times in order to prevent infection.

"This is a time of year when bugs like Norovirus are common within the wider community and we need our visitors to be extra vigilant in washing their hands before and after every visit, using the handwashing facilities provided.

"Children under the age of 12 should not visit at all and anyone who is feeling ill is advised to stay away until at least three days after they are well again."

* Norovirus is a common virus that causes self-limiting infections, which are most prevalent at this time of the year.

Typically they cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea for a short period in those affected, usually over one to two days.

Such infections are treated seriously by the trust, which works to ensure that patients are cared for and further spread of the virus is contained through effective infection control measures.

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