South Scotland

Dumfries hospital wards closed over norovirus outbreak

Dumfries Infirmary Image copyright NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Two wards at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary have been closed following a norovirus outbreak.

A total of 19 patients and three members of staff have been affected by the sickness and diarrhoea bug since 1 May.

The NHS board has shut wards 12 and 18 at the Dumfries hospital to new admissions, transfers and routine visiting.

An earlier outbreak led to the closure of four wards in March and April.

A spokeswoman for the board said the viral infection was spreading through the community.

She said anyone who has experienced sickness and diarrhoea should not visit the hospital until 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared.

Family and friends of patients in wards 12 and 18 have also been asked to stay away to avoid spreading the norovirus.

Dr Martin Connor, consultant microbiologist and infection control doctor, said: "Our priority is always patient, public and staff safety.

Infection control

"We appreciate that this temporary visiting restriction to Ward 18 may cause some frustration, this measure will allow us to help prevent further spread of the infection and ensure safe patient care.

"Where circumstances are such that relatives are concerned about the need to visit their loved ones in Ward 18, they are asked to contact the ward before coming to the hospital.

"All members of the public visiting other areas of the hospital are asked to comply with the hand hygiene and infection control measures in place."

Meanwhile, NHS Borders has announced that all of its wards affected by a similar outbreak have reopened.

People have been asked to "carefully consider" their visits to Borders General Hospital in Melrose and other community hospitals.

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