Two wards at Gloucestershire's two main hospitals have been closed to prevent patients from contracting an airborne sickness bug.The Avening Ward at Cheltenham Hospital and Ward 4A at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital are subject to visiting restrictions due to the outbreak of Norovirus.
A spokeswoman for the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust said the illness is usually over within 48 hours but is highly infectious, which is why the Trust needs to limit the number of people moving in and out of the affected ward.
Exceptions can be made for relatives hoping to visit on compassionate grounds. These visitors are being asked to speak to a member of ward staff on entering the ward.The visiting restrictions will be reviewed every day and lifted as soon as possible.This is a precautionary measure and good infection control practice to protect patients and control the spread of the illness.We hope that families and friends will understand why we are asking them not to visit for this short period.We hope to be in a position to re-introduce visiting on these wards in a matter of days.
Cheltenham General Hospital has been closed to visitors after an outbreak of norovirus. The hospital decided to close all wards to visitors as a precautionary measure after the winter vomiting bug affected a number of wards.
The number of people in the South West who have gone to their doctor complaining of stomach bugs has trebled in the past few months.
Norovirus - which is also known as the winter vomiting bug - is easily spread and outbreaks are difficult to control.
Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people also get a high temperature, headaches and aching limbs.
People in hospital are particularly at risk. Many hospitals including Bristol's Royal Infirmary are restricting visiting hours. Four wards are currently affected at the RUH in Bath and Berrow ward is closed at Weston General.
Weston General Hospital is restricting visiting hours over Christmas to try to keep the hospital free from norovirus. There's been a huge rise in cases of the winter vomiting bug across the country, including North Somerset. Visiting is restricted to an hour a day with two vistors per bed.
Two wards remain closed at Bath's Royal United Hospital because of a sickness bug. The hospital is asking visitors to keep away from the Waterhouse ward and the Surgical Admissions Unit following cases of norovirus.