BOSSES at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital have urged anyone planning a visit to stay away if they have suffered sickness or flu-like symptoms.
Chiefs at the Belvedere Road site issued the warning in a bid to try to keep the ‘winter vomiting’ bug, or norovirus, away from vulnerable patients during the winter months.
The move has been made because, in the past, patients and staff have been struck down with various illnesses at this time of year.
Brendan Brown, director of nursing at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We usually see higher levels of norovirus in autumn and winter, and it’s really important to make sure that we protect vulnerable patients and hospital staff.
“This is why we’re asking everyone considering visiting a friend or relative in hospital to think carefully about whether they need to come if they have experienced diarrhoea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms in the last four days.
“We know that sometimes visitors feel they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives.
“However, if they themselves have been unwell, they could be putting others at risk. If you’re unsure whether to visit, please feel free to contact the ward nurse before you come into hospital.
“If you are worried about prolonged symptoms, you can ring 111 or your GP.
“They will be able to provide advice for people who are at greater risk from dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting, such as children or the elderly.”
Hospital bosses revealed they had not yet had any cases of winter sickness, and said this was a precautionary measure.
The norovirus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly anywhere that people are gathered, such as in schools or offices, especially during colder months.
Good hand hygiene can help to limit the spread of the infection.