South Scotland

Fourth ward shut at Dumfries hospital in norovirus outbreak

Dumfries Infirmary Image copyright NHS Dumfries and Galloway

A fourth ward has closed at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary in a major outbreak of norovirus.

Ward 14 is the latest to be shut to admissions and transfers and is subject to visitor restrictions.

General medical wards nine and 10 were shut for much of last week. Ward 10 remains closed, but ward nine was expected to partially reopen at 17:00 on Monday after a deep clean.

Ward 12 was shut on Thursday but reopened on Friday.

Duty manager Graham Gault said 43 patients currently have the bug. They have experienced symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea.

Eleven members of staff have reported experiencing similar symptoms.

'Stay away'

Mr Gault said the norovirus has a 72-hour incubation period so people could be unaware they are carrying the infection.

He urged visitors to stay away from wards 10 and 14, which have been affected by the bug.

"However if people are deeply concerned the key message is phone the ward and ask for the charge nurse," he added.

Elaine Ross, infection control manager, said: "This is an unpleasant virus which is circulating in the community and is spread easier wherever people are together.

"In this outbreak, vomiting is more of a feature and this makes it much more easy to transmit, which is why we are seeing higher numbers affected in hospital.

"We regret having to take such measures as restricting visiting, particularly over a holiday period, but thank the public and our staff for their continued support and patience as we endeavour to minimise the impact of this horrible bug."

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