Hospital chiefs in South Tyneside have reported fewer people suffering from norovirus – but are reminding visitors that they still have to take precautions.
There are now only two patients and no members of staff affected by the winter vomiting bug which has struck South Tyneside District Hospital, but experts say people in the community who have been affected by the virus should stay away from the hospital to prevent it spreading.
Last week eighteen patients and 15 members of staff had contracted the norovirus at the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director, Dr Shaz Wahid, said: “We have seen a definite improvement in the situation regarding the norovirus outbreak in the past 48 hours and our infection prevention and control team is continuing to work extremely hard to ensure that affected areas can be re-opened as quickly as possible.
“We would like to thank all members of the public who heeded our advice last week to stay away from the hospital if they had the bug.
“However, norovirus is still circulating in the community and we would emphasise the need, in the interests of patient safety, for all visitors, including patients’ relatives, who have had the bug to stay at home until they have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.”
He added: “This will help to reduce the number of opportunities for Norovirus to spread to vulnerable patients and to our staff who care for them.”
Noroviruses is a generally short-lived illness from which people will usually recover without treatment.
The main symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea.
There is no specific treatment and the illness just has to run its course, with most people making a full recovery within one to two days.
The hospital is advising members of the public who think they have norovirus to stay at home until they have fully recovered and have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
If symptoms persist, ask for a telephone consultation with your family doctor or call the NHS on 111 for advice.