A surgical ward at the Highland flagship hospital has closed as a result of the winter vomiting bug.
Ward 3A at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, is shut to new admissions and visitors are being asked not to attend while staff in the hospital deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting.
Five patients were found to be affected with three still experiencing symptoms.
Local testing confirmed it to be norovirus, the winter vomiting bug.
The virus, which causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, spreads in the air where someone has had diarrhoea or vomited and is extremely difficult to contain.
Dr Emma Watson, Consultant Microbiologist for NHS Highland, said: “We know that norovirus is out there in the community and it is likely it has been brought into the hospital.
“As well as restricting visiting to the affected ward we are also asking people not to come to the hospital to visit if they have 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 diarrhoea and vomiting of this kind 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.