Appeal for help to fight infection

THE PUBLIC and hospital visitors in Angus are being asked for their backing to combat the spread of the winter vomiting bug in the area’s hospitals.

Also known at the norovirus, the infection is currently circulating out in communities and has, so far, forced the closure to new admissions of two wards at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, two wards at Royal Victoria Hospital in the city and one ward at Perth Royal Infirmary. The closures are a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus and all appropriate infection control measures have been put in place.

Dr Gabby Phillips, lead Infection control doctor for NHS Tayside, said the health authority is already seeing a seasonal increase in people suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea in the region’s hospitals.

She said: “Visitors can really help us by thinking carefully about visiting relatives and friends while this virus is circulating. We would ask you not to visit if you are feeling unwell and have vomiting and diarrhoea. If you are unwell, you must stay at home until you have had no symptoms for 48 hours.”

Dr Phillips added that hand hygiene is one of the simplest precautions against the virus.

She said: “If you are visiting relatives or friends in the identified wards, please make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before going into the ward area and again when you leave.

“Good hand hygiene and making sure you don’t touch any clinical equipment are simple but sensible precautions which can safeguard the health and wellbeing of our patients and help reduce the spread of norovirus. We would also ask anyone visiting relatives in identified wards to try to make sure there are only two visitors at a patient’s bedside at any one time.

“There are already posters at the entrances to all the wards identified to remind visitors of the simple steps they can take to help us.”