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Norovirus outbreak continues at Borders hospitals

NHS Borders staff say the situation is improving Photo: ITV Border

Confirmed cases of norovirus are continuing to affect wards at hospitals in the Borders.

Borders General Hospital, and Kelso and Hawick Community Hospitals are asking visitors to carefully consider their trips to see patients.

Visitors are advised to stay away from any hospital ward if they, or anyone in their family has experienced symptoms of the virus in the past 48 hours.

The Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Acute Service at NHS Borders said:

There are still confirmed cases of norovirus in wards at Borders General Hospital, Kelso and Hawick Community Hospitals, however the situation is improving."

– Claire Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Acute Service, NHS Borders
Visitors are advised to carefully consider their trips to see patients Credit: ITV Border

Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It is more common in winter, although you can catch it any time of the year.

It spreads very easily in public places such as hospitals and schools, and is usually caught from contact with a contaminated person, surface or food.

Symptoms appear 1-2 days after becoming infected and usually last for 2-3 days:

  • Suddenly feeling sick
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Watery diarrhoea

People may also experience fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.

The best thing to do is stay at home if you become infected Credit: PA

Norovirus can't always be avoided but there are steps you can take to minimise the risk:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food.
  • Don't rely on alcohol hand gels, as they do not kill the virus.Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated. It's best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
  • Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed.
  • Don't share towels and flannels.
  • Flush away any infected poo or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding area.
  • Avoid eating raw, unwashed produce and only eat oysters from a reliable source, as oysters can carry norovirus.

For more advice on combatting norovirus, visit the NHS Norovirus page.