North East Wales

Stomach bug closes wards at Wrexham Maelor Hospital

Nearly all the wards at Wrexham Maelor Hospital have been closed to visitors after an outbreak of the vomiting and diarrhoea bug norovirus.

The hospital said it wanted to reduce the spread of the virus, which has affected 66 patients and 10 staff.

The maternity unit is open to close family, while parents are only allowed to visit the paediatrics unit.

The adult wards are permitting family visits of terminally or critically ill patients.

Admissions to the hospital and all outpatients departments will continue to run normally, and a daily review is in place and people will be informed when the restrictions are lifted, said officials.

A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokeswoman said: "The ideal environment for this virus to spread is any place where large number of people mix together which is why outbreaks of the illness are particularly common in hospitals.

"As this virus spreads easily from one person to another, by restricting visitors, we hope to contain and eliminate the virus by avoiding contact with as many people as possible until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared."

The main symptoms of norovirus infection are sudden nausea, stomach ache followed by severe "projectile" vomiting and or diarrhoea.

Symptoms usually begin between 12 and 48 hours after a person becomes infected, said officials.

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