ERI still in norovirus battle

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A RESTRICTION on visitors at the Royal Infirmary due to a norovirus outbreak remains in place – more than six weeks after it was imposed.

NHS Lothian has said a visitor ban aimed at preventing the spread of norovirus in ward 202 is still in force, as cases of the bug are still present.

The first case of norovirus in the 2012-13 period was recorded in August, and since the turn of the year, 321 patients have been diagnosed with the bug on all major Lothian hospital sites.

The outbreak has been far more severe than in previous years, causing a huge number of beds to shut and a knock-on impact on other services.

Professor Alison McCallum, NHS Lothian’s director of ­public health and health policy, said: “We have had a ­continuing problem with ­norovirus and are actively ­seeking information.”

It has been proposed that 10 beds will be removed from Liberton Hospital, where a ­visitor ban due to the norovirus bug was imposed earlier this year, in the hope that it would reduce the risk of infection.