Sickness bug warning at hospitals

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VISITORS to Wigan hospital are being urged to be vigilant after a chronic vomiting bug closed other hospitals in the region.

Although there have so far been no reported cases of the norovirus in Wigan, hospital chiefs want visitors to be aware of the symptoms.

The Royal Bolton Hospital has closed all its wards to visitors after an outbreak of the virus, also known as the winter vomiting bug.

The norovirus causes severe sickness and diarrhoea and can be fatal if caught by somebody with severe underlying health conditions.

The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact or by consuming contaminated food or water.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

Sufferers are advised to drink plenty of water, take paracetamol for fever, aches and pains and to eat foods that are easy to digest.

They are also advised that they should not go to the doctor because norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it.

But you should contact their GPs if symptoms last or if you already have a serious illness.

Lynda Barkess-Jones, Acting Director of Infection Prevention and Control said: “Our hospitals are looking after people who are unwell and may have reduced immunity. They are more susceptible to catching norovirus.”

She said “Anyone who has been feeling unwell recently with symptoms of diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, it is advised that they should stay away from our hospitals, until they have been free of symptoms for at least 72 hours.

“If you have been in contact with someone who has had symptoms you could also be bringing the virus into our hospitals.”