Warning after norovirus outbreak at Walsall Manor Hospital
Health chiefs have warned children and sick relatives to stay away from wards at Walsall Manor Hospital after an outbreak of norovirus.
The outbreak has put vulnerable patients at risk with 70 beds closed across four wards today.
Health bosses warned patients with sickness and diarrhoea symptoms to stay away and advised that children should not be taken into ward areas.
The outbreak was partially caused by a sick person visiting a patient, a spokesman for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said.
The spokesman said 70 beds were closed across wards two, nine, 15 and 17.
Ward two was fully closed while two bays - or 12 beds - were closed across the other three.
Chief Operating Officer Philip Thomas-Hands said: "We currently have patients in the Manor Hospital who have tested positive for norovirus and this is closing bays across four wards - wards 2, 9, 17 and 15.
“We must urge people to stay away from the hospital if they have sickness and diarrhoea, or they have recently experienced these symptoms.
"This is because people may still carry the virus and can infect others up to three days after their own symptoms have stopped.
"We have a number of vulnerable patients for whom this virus is extremely dangerous for them to catch.
“The most effective precaution against norovirus is to wash hands regularly with soap and water, and not just rely on hand gel.
"The symptoms last around two days and the only treatment required is to drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated.
"Anyone worried about symptoms, should contact their pharmacy, GP or NHS 111 helpline by telephone, rather than just going to the emergency department or health centre.”
- If anyone has any concerns about being unable to visit a friend or relative in Walsall Manor Hospital, they should discuss this with the nurse in charge of their ward, who will consider the case of each patient on an individual basis, especially those close relatives of patients who are gravely ill. The nurse in charge can be contacted by calling the hospital’s switchboard on: 01922 721172.