Warning issued over Norovirus stomach bug to prevent spread into Sunderland and South Tyneside hospitals

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Hospital bosses in Sunderland are warning people to stay away if they have contracted a sickness bug.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Medical Director Dr Shaz Wahid is calling on people to stay at home if they have norovirus to avoid passing it on.

Norovirus is an unpleasant condition which causes vomiting and diarrhoea and health chiefs say that, for the vast majority of people, it is best treated at home.

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It spreads very easily and people suffering from it are advised to stay away from hospitals and GP centres because of the effect this can have on other patients and staff,

South Tyneside District HospitalSouth Tyneside District Hospital
South Tyneside District Hospital

Dr Wahid said: “Norovirus is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea and, whilst it can be very unpleasant, it usually goes away in two or three days.

“The big probem it poses for hospitals is that can spread very easily and that can have a major impact on hospitals and other NHS services.

“It is, therefore, very important to stay off school or work and to avoid visiting anyone in hospital until the symptoms have stopped for two days.”

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He added: “Sufferers should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. This is especially important for the very young, the elderly or those with a weakened immunity system.

Sunderland Royal Hospital. Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“Anyone needing help and advice should use the free, 24/7 NHS 111 phone and online service rather than going to hospital or their GP.

Going to a general practice or hospital while you have this bug creating a very real risk of infecting others.”

How to look after yourself if you have diarrhoea and vomiting:

*Stay at home and get plenty of rest.

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*Drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick.

*If you are a new parent, carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby. If they’re being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual.

*Give babies on formula or solid foods small sips of water between feeds.

*Eat when you feel able to. You don’t need to eat or avoid any specific foods.

*Take paracetamol if you are in discomfort. Check the instructions leaflet before giving it to a child.