Highland hospitals shut wards over norovirus fear

Royal Northern Infirmary in Inverness was one of those to act. Picture: Geograph

Royal Northern Infirmary in Inverness was one of those to act. Picture: Geograph

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SUSPECTED cases of norovirus has resulted in health bosses shutting wards at two Highland hospitals.

Ward 2 at the Royal Northern Infirmary in Inverness has closed to new admissions and visitors are being asked to keep visiting to an absolute minimum.

Eight patients are currently affected with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.

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A ward at Nairn Town and County Hospital has also been closed to admissions as a precaution following the development of diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms in two patients.

Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, spreads in the air where someone has had diarrhoea or vomited and is extremely infectious.

Dr Jonty Mills, Consultant Microbiologist for NHS Highland, said: “By restricting visiting to the affected area it helps hospital staff protect the health, privacy and dignity of our patients.

“We would also ask that people do not come to the hospital to visit if they have, or live with someone who has, had any vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48hrs. By doing this we will be able to limit the spread as much as possible.

“Hospital staff will of course be very happy to talk to visitors on the phone so they can get updates on how their relatives are.”

There is no specific treatment for a norovirus infection and it is not usually necessary to visit a doctor.

The best course of action is to stay at home, take paracetamol to relieve symptoms of any fever and to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. People should also adhere to strict hand washing techniques to reduce the spread of the virus.

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