Ward closed in Borders General Hospital as patients show vomiting bug symptoms

A WARD has been closed in Borders General Hospital after several patients showed symptoms of the Norovirus – the winter vomiting bug.

But NHS Borders have said no patients are giving cause for concern.

Common symptoms of the bug are diarrhoea and/or vomiting generally lasting for 12 to 72 hours.

Other symptoms can include headache, fever and muscle aches. Anyone can get the infection but the very young and old can suffer most.

Dr Hamish McRitchie, clinical chair of BGH, said: “The healthcare of our patients and staff is our main concern.

“Staff are working with the Infection Control Team using normal infection control measures to minimise disruption.

“Visitors are asked to comply with any instructions they are given by staff and in particular, they should try to avoid going to hospital or any other healthcare facility if they or other members of their family have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting within the past 48 hours.”

Outbreaks of Norovirus can start abruptly and spread quickly in hospitals, but patients, visitors and staff have been asked to help minimise the impact.

NHS Borders have told visitors not to visit relatives or friends in the affected ward until the outbreak has subsided but if they must, limited it to two people per patient.

Visitors have also been asked not to bring children to visit patients in affected areas.

And strict hand-washing for all visitors is essential.

Treatment for Norovirus in most cases requires drinking more fluids than usual but some people may wish to seek further advice – visit www.nhs24.co.uk or phone 08454 24 24 24 for more information.