North Devon hospital wards reopen after virus outbreak

ALMOST all North Devon wards are now open again after an outbreak of a winter sickness and diarrhoea virus, but visitors are still asked to stay away if they have suffered recent symptoms. Staples Ward at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple was cl

ALMOST all North Devon wards are now open again after an outbreak of a winter sickness and diarrhoea virus, but visitors are still asked to stay away if they have suffered recent symptoms.

Staples Ward at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple was closed for disinfection but reopened (yesterday) Monday, while some bays were also closed at community hospitals but have since reopened.

Currently, the only area affected isa single bay on the King George V Ward in Barnstaple.

Friends or relatives who have suffered from diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours or who have been in contact with someone who has, are asked not to visit local hospitals and put patients at risk at a time when they are likely to be more vulnerable to infection.


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Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has said although the infections are less widespread than other hospitals around the region, the problem is still serious, posing a risk to people who are already ill or recovering from operations and making it harder to admit new patients.

The advice on visiting applies to all community hospitals, at Bideford, Ilfracombe, Holsworthy, Torrington and South Molton.

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"The last thing you want in hospital is to go down with something as unpleasant as diarrhoea or vomiting," said Andrew Kingsley, clinical manager for infection control.

"Visitors carrying the bug can unwittingly infect vulnerable patients - including the very people they've come to cheer up.

"Please, if you have had a diarrhoea or sickness bug, make sure you've been clear of any symptoms for at least 48 hours before coming to visit. And when you do come in, please make sure you use the hand wash facilities - taking a few seconds to clean up can save a huge amount of anguish.

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