Norovirus sparks West Cumberland Hospital visitor warning
People are being asked not to visit sick relatives at a Cumbria hospital ward due to an outbreak of norovirus.
Several patients on West Cumberland Hospital's ward 3a have been affected by the virus, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said.
People are asked to avoid visiting the ward in Whitehaven except for to see "essential" and dying patients.
Symptoms of the "highly contagious" norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting.
'Difficult for patients'
The trust is also appealing for anyone planning to visit either of its hospitals to stay at home if they or their family members have had symptoms in the past two days.
Anna Stabler from the trust said: "We know that many visitors feel they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives.
"We appreciate this is difficult for patients and their loved ones but the more people who pass through our hospitals, the greater risk of the virus spreading.
"If you feel that your visit is essential due to caring for a relative with dementia for example, please contact the ward directly for further advice."
Although people usually recover without treatment in between 24 and 72 hours, the trust said people should stay away from work, school and other gatherings until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have finished.