A WARD at the main hospital in the Highlands has shut following another outbreak of norovirus.
It is the latest closure to hit a hospital or care home in the region as a result of the sickness and diarrhoea bug.
Ward 2A at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness deals with stroke and rehabilitation patients.
It is the second time the ward has been hit by norovirus within the past year. Seven patients currently affected with symptoms.
NHS Highland has asked visitors to stay away from hospitals if they have been ill with any symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48 hours.
In recent months Belford Hospital in Fort William, the Caithness General hospital in Wick and the Bayview nursing home in Thurso have also been affected by norovirus.
The virus, 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/s 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.”