Norovirus bug plea to north Wales hospital visitors

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Health officials in north Wales are asking hospital visitors to help prevent the spread of the diarrhoea and vomiting bug, norovirus.

One surgical ward at Wrexham Maelor hospital is closed to new admissions because of the bug.

Restrictions are also in place on individual bays within four other wards at the hospital.

There are also partial restrictions on three wards at Glan Clwyd hospital at Bodelwyddan.

With the numbers of norovirus infections across the UK at higher levels than normal, and with the peak winter period ahead, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board urged the public to help it keep the infection away from hospitals.

The board issued guidance to help stop the infection spreading.

Hand gel

Most importantly, it said anyone who has suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting should be free of symptoms for at least 48 hours before coming into hospital as a visitor.

Anyone who is due to go in as a patient who develops the illness should ring the ward or out patient department for advice before doing so.

A Betsi Cadwaladr spokesperson said the most effective step that everyone can take to protect themselves from infectious illness is to wash hands regularly.

In particular, visitors going to see family or friends in hospital must use the cleansing hand gel or foam provided at every ward entrance.

The spokesperson added there should be no more than two visitors at any bed at any time, and all visitors should comply with advice from hospital staff or that displayed on notices and posters.

Where there have been cases of norovirus there may be also a time limit for visiting close family members to help reduce the chances of the virus spreading.

Visitors should always wash their hands before leaving a ward area to help avoid carrying any infections away with them.

And if people have visited someone who is on a ward where there have been cases of norovirus they should not visit another part of the hospital.

Wrexham Maelor Hospital was previously hit by the bug in July.

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