In a bid to combat the effects of the Norovirus and the potential for an outbreak at this time of the year, two hospitals in the north-west have taken steps to improve their hygiene standards.
Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals have both managed to avoid any cases of the infection so far this winter, after enhancing the cleanliness of their wards, reports the Wirral Globe. They have succeeded to date despite warnings from the Health Protection Agency suggesting as many as 750,000 people could be hit by the bug.
For the season to date, some 2,630 cases have been reported in the UK. It is believed that for every confirmed case that is detailed to health bosses, another 288 go unreported. As such, the Norovirus is a hugely significant bug that has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of people.
Tina Lang, director of nursing and midwifery at Wirral NHS, said the body has focused on keeping the bug out of hospitals in recent weeks. A number of methods have been used in order to achieve this.
"Our infection prevention and control team have done a great deal of work to inform and educate visitors and patients on the part they can play in preventing the spread of the virus. This has included greeting visitors as they come in to our hospitals and discussing with them the importance of hand washing and how other simple steps can help reduce the transmission of the virus," she explained.
There has even been a series of special awareness events held in supermarkets in the area, as health bosses aim to widen people's knowledge of the Norovirus.
Simply cleaning wards, worktops and offices in medical centres and hospitals can play a significant part in ensuring the bug stays away, while educating visitors and patients is another important step.
People who believe they have the Norovirus are advised to stay at home and recover, as they will get over the infection in time.