Borders hospital open again after outbreak of vomiting virus

Kelso Community Hospital.
Kelso Community Hospital.
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Kelso Community Hospital has reopened to new admissions after being forced to shut its doors last week following an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting.

Health chiefs remain fearful of further outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis, however, and are appealing to any potential visitors to the 23-bed Inch Road hospital, or the Borders General Hospital at Melrose, displaying possible symptoms of the condition to stay away.

Tim Patterson, joint director of public health for the region, said: “Although the Borders General Hospital and our community hospitals currently have no ward closures, this can change very quickly.

“In order to safeguard vulnerable patients and enable us to limit the spread of gastrointestinal viruses, we continue to ask members of the public to carefully consider their visits to the hospital, and that anyone who has experienced diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms in the past 48 hours does not visit the hospital.

“I would like to thank the public for responding to the requests that we have made in relation to the recent outbreak in Kelso.”

Dr Patterson added: “Viral gastroenteritis is very infectious and spreads quickly between people. This is why outbreaks happen in hospitals where a number of people are sharing facilities.

“However, it doesn’t just occur in hospitals and can start abruptly and spread quickly through communities.”

Common symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are diarrhoea or vomiting, generally lasting for 12 to 72 hours.

Other symptoms can include headache, fever and muscle aches.

The infection can be serious for the very young, frail or older people vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.

Treatment in most cases requires drinking more fluids than usual and resting to give victims a chance to fight the infection.

Up-to-date health information and self-care advice is on offer over the telephone on 111 or online at www.nhs24.co.uk or www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk