HOSPITAL staff are saying “no” to norovirus, asking patients and visitors to help keep the winter vomiting bug away from inpatients.
Staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), which oversees Montagu Hospital in Mexborough, urge those with symptoms of the bug to stay away.
Norovirus becomes more active during the colder months, making victims feel particularly unwell as the weather turns chilly.
Transferred by contact with infected people or contaminated items, it can spread rapidly in crowded places like hospitals, schools and nursing homes.
Symptoms include nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as fever, headaches, painful cramps and aching limbs.
Trust bosses are asking anyone with these symptoms to stay away from hospital until they have felt better for at least 48 hours, to protect patients and staff.
Moira Hardy, acting director of nursing, midwifery and quality, said: “Norovirus is very contagious and can infect anyone.
“If it spreads within a hospital, it can have extremely worrying consequences for patients who are already ill.
“That’s why it is so important not to visit until you have been symptom-free for at least a couple of days.”
She added: “An outbreak may mean we have to restrict admissions and visitors to wards in order to contain the virus.
“So the message is clear — if you’ve think you've got the bug, do not visit until you’re feeling better.”
The unpleasant illness usually clears up in one to two days.
Most people can care adequately for themselves with painkillers and plenty of fluids.
Washing hands regularly is the best way to protect against the virus — especially before meals and after using the toilet.