1. ITV Report

Outbreak of Norovirus at Princess Elizabeth Hospital

Guernsey's Princess Elizabeth Hospital has reported a case of the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus on one ward.

The virus is believed to have been contained to the Victoria Ward, where all patients will remain until the outbreak is over. No new patients will be brought onto the ward either. Any patients deemed medically fit can be discharged home.

Doctors believe the bug may have been contracted by a patient before coming into hospital.

Full infection prevention and control precautions have been implemented and the hospital is confident that the current outbreak is under control.

The Health and Social Services Department is asking everyone visiting patients at the hospital in patient wards and departments to make it their responsibility to ensure they do not bring any illnesses in with them.

“Norovirus is highly contagious and very unpleasant for those who get it. It spreads very quickly and so we are asking all members of the public to think carefully before visiting patients if they have recently been unwell.

“Norovirus circulates in the community during the winter months and it only takes one person to bring the infection in to the hospital for it to quickly spread to patients. This means that wards can be closed due to outbreaks and visiting restrictions put in place.

“We are trying to do all we can to limit the risk of Norovirus outbreaks in our hospital and are asking the public to help us.”

– Deputy Paul Luxon, Minister for HSSD
Credit: PA

The Health Department have issued a list of seven ways the public can help keep reduce the risk of Norovirus:

  • Please do not visit the hospital if you have had any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in the last two days. A person with Norovirus is most infectious from when their symptoms start until 48 hours after all their symptoms have passed.
  • Symptoms of Norovirus include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting and should not last for more than a few days. There is no specific treatment for these symptoms. You should rest, keep warm, take plenty of fluids and if you have pain or are feverish take paracetamol as required.
  • If visiting in the hospital please clean your hands with the alcohol gel at the entrance to the ward or department.
  • We know that schools and nurseries can often be affected with Norovirus we therefore ask at this time that children aged 11 and under (except on the Children's and Maternity wards) should not visit patients in the hospital unless absolutely necessary.
  • Visiting on Victoria Ward which is affected with Norovirus is restricted to close family and friends only. If you do visit the ward your hands must be washed with soap and water before you enter the ward and when you leave.
  • Please note that alcohol gel alone is not effective against Norovirus. If visiting a ward affected by Norovirus hands should be washed with soap and water before leaving the ward.
  • In addition, HSSD is asking people with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting not to present themselves at the Emergency Department – but to contact their primary care GP or out of hour’s service for initial advice and direction. If patients are due to come into the hospital for an operation and have symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting they should phone the admissions department at the PEH before they leave home to agree whether they should still have their operation as planned.