'Stay away' plea after outbreak of winter vomiting virus at Barnstaple hospital

A ward has been closed and some operations have been cancelled after a suspected outbreak of the norovirus winter vomiting bug at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting brought on by the highly contagious virus have

A ward has been closed and some operations have been cancelled after a suspected outbreak of the norovirus "winter vomiting" bug at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.

Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting brought on by the highly contagious virus have led to the closure of the Medical Assessment Unit, a ward critical to the functioning of the hospital and used as a centre for the assessment and initial treatment of many new patients.

Restrictions have been placed on the admission of new patients and anyone planning to visit A&E with a less serious condition has been asked to visit their local community hospital minor injuries unit instead.

The public and hospital visitors have been urged to stay away if they have suffered from diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours or been in contact with someone who has.


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A statement by Northern Devon Healthcare Trust today (Monday) said some operations would be cancelled as a result of the outbreak. Any patient whose surgery has been affected will be contacted by telephone.

The South Western Ambulance Service and local GPs have been alerted to the restrictions.

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The trust said contingency plans were in place within the hospital to ease the pressure on MAU, while patients affected by the suspected norovirus are isolated and cleaning is carried out.

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