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Hospital visiting restrictions lifted

PUBLISHED: 09:24 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 July 2010

VISITING restrictions to wards at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been lifted from today following cases of a widespread seasonal vomiting virus.

VISITING restrictions to wards at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been lifted from today following cases of a widespread seasonal vomiting virus.

Visiting is being allowed as levels of norovirus in the wider community are quietening down. People who are visiting the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day will also get free parking. All hospital visitors are being urged to follow some simple visiting rules including:

Do not visit if you are ill or have been ill recently

Do not visit if you have been in close contact with someone who has been ill recently

Only two visitors at a time per patient

Do follow the ward visiting times which are 2-4pm and 6-8pm

Do wash your hands thoroughly

The Norovirus stomach bug causes nausea and diarrhoea and is very easily spread from person to person. The spread of infection is easiest in places where group of people are in close proximity for reasonable amounts of time such as residential homes, schools, hospitals and workplaces.

The virus lasts around two days and no treatment is required, however, even after the symptoms have cleared up people may still carry the virus and infect others up to three days after their own symptoms have stopped.

Dr Judith Richards, director of infection prevention and control, said: “Levels of norovirus in the community seem to be dying down and for that reason we are lifting the visiting restrictions. We are very grateful for people's patience and understanding about visiting restrictions. It is important that we protect our patients by restricting the chances of people spreading this infection.

“People should avoid visiting places like hospitals and residential homes if they have had the bug or been in contact with it over the past two days. Alcohol gel is effective against bacteria but not all viruses, therefore we are recommend that, as a matter of routine, all visitors should also wash their hands with hot water and soap when visiting our wards, and we would be very grateful if more visitors could follow that guidance.”

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