A hospital on the Isle of Wight is on red alert after an outbreak of the Norovirus led to one of its wards being closed down as a precaution.
The Isle of Wight County Press has reported that a section of St Mary's Hospital is now shut, following a number of patients displaying signs of the bug. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea are just two of the side-effects of the infection, which spreads particularly quickly during the winter months.
It is believed that the acute medical ward is the scene of the outbreak, with several of the people to be admitted in the last 24 hours among those showing signs of the Norovirus. No new admissions are now being accepted into this part of the institution in a bid to prevent the bug from spreading.
A spokesman for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust said the bug is typically brought into hospitals by an ill visitor or patient. If this proves to be the case, it may be no reflection of the hygiene standards being kept by the facility.
However, those who wish to ensure their hospital will not contribute to the spread of the Norovirus could invest in the very best cleaning products on the market. Teaming these with a workforce that is educated and willing to work on cleanliness is a good way to combat infections.
"The trust has been concerned about the rise in reported cases of the virus in the community, as reported nationally by the Health Protection Agency and issued a reminder before Christmas about the need for Islanders to maintain good hand and personal hygiene," the representative stated.
"Subject to ongoing review, we expect the ward to re-open to new admissions tomorrow (January 5th)."
He went on to ask people to visit the hospital only if their trip is absolutely essential - and even in those cases they will only be given access to the ward at the discretion of staff. Nobody of advancing years or in childhood should put themselves in close proximity to the affected areas.