A norovirus stomach bug has been circulating causing the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to control the visitation in its wards. This is in an effort to protect the well-being of the patients because of the norovirus tendency to be highly contagious.
Though the establishments have not put a blanket ban on the visitation, they are advising visitors to refrain from visiting patients unless necessary. Restrictions also include mandate that visitors could only visit one ward each time and children who are not 12 years and over are not allowed inside the hospital.
For those who contacted the stomach bug or have been in contact with a person who has the virus are advised not to visit the hospital. Visitors are also asked to do hand washing with the help of soap and hot water.
According to the director of infection prevention and control, Dr Ngozi Elumogo, it is the season for the norovirus to go around affecting communities and it is the establishment’s advice that frequent hand washing be practiced using soapy water in high temperature. For most common flu viruses and bacteria, alcohol and hand sanitizers can be used as preventive measure but not in the case of norovirus.
Dr Elumogo also added that in order for the hospital to be free of the norovirus, visitors are advised not to visit patients especially if they have had the stomach bug the previous 3 days or has been with someone who is infected with the norovirus or experienced diarrhea.
For those who are suffering from the norovirus, Dr Elumogo has some advice including:
– Be sure the symptoms are gone for a minimum of 48 hours before going back to school or work.
– Frequent hand washing is important – be thorough. This practice is more important before eating and after going to the toilet.
– Unless you have been symptoms free for a minimum of 48 hours, it is not advisable that you handle food preparation for those around you.
– It is not advisable to go visit anyone in nursing homes or hospitals.
– It is not advisable to attend any social event unless symptoms free for a minimum of 48 hours.
– There is no need to seek medical help in the emergency room as the virus will be out of your system with proper rest and enough fluids.
– Disinfect all surfaces touched by someone who has contacted the norovirus.
– For symptoms that are getting worse, it is recommended that you contact your doctor.