South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is urging hospital visitors to ‘Say NO to NOrovirus’ this winter.
Better known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages.
Outbreaks of norovirus, which causes vomiting and/or diarrhoea, are common in busy places such as hospitals as the virus easily spreads from one person to another and can survive on surfaces for several days.
This year the trust has launched its own ‘Say NO to NOrovirus’ campaign to offer advice to patients and visitors to help stop the spread of this highly contagious bug.
Help us say NO to NOrovirus by:
- Not visiting friends or relatives if you have the bug, until you are fully recovered and have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
- Checking with us about coming in for your hospital appointment if you have these symptoms.
- Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water and regularly at all times – particularly after using the toilet and before eating.
- Staying clear of accident and emergency if you think you have the illness. Stay at home and drink plenty of fluids. If you are still ill after a few days contact your own GP or NHS 111.
Alison Peevor, assistant director of nursing/deputy director of infection prevention and control at the trust said: “Norovirus outbreaks in busy places such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools are common because the virus spreads very easily from one person to another.
“Although norovirus can be an unpleasant experience it’s not generally dangerous and most people make a full recovery within a couple of days without having to see a doctor.
“However outbreaks can close wards for several days so it is really important that people who have had the bug do not visit relatives in hospital until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours to avoid it spreading.”
Norovirus is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands and can also be caught through contaminated food or drink or by touching contaminated objects. The illness is more common in winter but it can be caught at any time of the year.
Those who get the bug must make sure they drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and practise good hygiene to help prevent it from spreading.
Stop it spreading:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Do not share towels and flannels.
- Disinfect any surfaces that an infected person has touched.