THREE wards at the largest hospital in the North east of Scotland have been closed to new admissions due to an outbreak of norovirus, the winter vomiting bug.
The suspension of new admissions is affecting wards 11, 12 and 20 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “Norovirus is often known as the winter vomiting virus, as it is particularly common at this time of year. While unpleasant it is not generally dangerous. Anyone who is symptomatic should avoid hospital visits.”
Meanwhile Abermed, a leading occupational health provider in the area, which provides remote medical support services to the energy industry, has warned of the risks of the bug spreading to offshore platforms in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “North East doctors are on red alert after an outbreak of Norovirus has been reported across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has seen an influx of cases of the bug, even affecting hospital staff.
“Now, as the illness is expected to hit the offshore community, Abermed are recommending preventative steps.Basic precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of infection. Most simply wash your hands thoroughly with clean, running water and soap. If you think surfaces such as door handles, computer keyboards and mice, or light-switches may be infected then use anti-bacterial wipes to keep them clean. Finally, always wash your hands before eating.”
NHS Tayside has also announced that ward 5 at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, ward 6 at Perth Royal Infirmary and the medical unit at Arbroath Infirmary have been closed to new admissions following several cases of vomiting and diarrhoea, thought to be caused by norovirus.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “The wards have been closed to new patients as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus and all appropriate infection control measures have been put in place.”