Norovirus outbreak: Plea from medics as South Tyneside District Hospital battles to stop disease spreading

South Tyneside Hospital
South Tyneside Hospital

Health bosses say hospital limits on visitor numbers are still in place as they continue to battle to keep an outbreak of norovirus under control.

Last week, three wards at South Tyneside District Hospital were closed after the infectious stomach bug started to spread.

We must do all we can to protect vulnerable patients

Dr Wahid

The vomiting spread has also broken out at the dementia centre Haven Court, based within the grounds of the hospital in Harton Lane.

In a bid to keep the virus under control, hospital chiefs are calling on the public’s help.

They are asking people to stay away if they have any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting. Those who have, are being asked to wait until they have been clear for 48 hours of symptoms before they visit.

Visiting numbers have also been reduced to two per patient and no children under the age of 14 are allowed.

Norovirus - also known as the winter vomiting bug - is the most common stomach bug in the UK. It is more common in the winter but can be caught all year round.

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

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director, Dr Shaz Wahid, reiterated his call for the public’s support as they work to keep the virus at bay.

He said: “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 protect patients.”