Appeal for public to help prevent spread of norovirus at South Shields hospital

Three wards at South Tyneside District Hospital have been closed.
Three wards at South Tyneside District Hospital have been closed.

Health bosses are continuing to appeal for help from hospital visitors as they bid to keep an outbreak of norovirus at South Tyneside District Hospital under control.

Three wards at the hospital closed earlier this week after the infectious stomach bug started to spread.

We know how important visiting is to patients, and their relatives, friends and carers, and we really appreciate the public’s support in helping us to protect patients

Dr Shaz Wahid

Hospital chiefs are still asking people to stay away if they have any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting, and not to visit under they have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours.

The Gazette revealed yesterday that the vomiting bug had also broken out at dementia centre Haven Court, in the grounds of the South Shields hospital.

Haven Court is not accepting any new admissions until all current residents are symptom-free.

The centre has had cases of norovirus for the last two weeks, although the number of cases reported has yet to be revealed.

Norovirus, is the most common stomach bug in the UK.

It is generally mild and most people make a full recovery within one to two days.

Visiting at both the hospital and Haven Court is also restricted to two visitors per patient and no children under the age of 14 is allowed to visit.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director, Dr Shaz Wahid, said earlier this week: “Whilst it is a short-lived illness from which most people recover without treatment, we must do all we can to protect vulnerable patients.

“We know how important visiting is to patients, and their relatives, friends and carers, and we really appreciate the public’s support in helping us to protect patients.”