Norovirus outbreak at Royal Cornwall Hospital closes three wards in ‘black alert’

Norovirus outbreak at Royal Cornwall Hospital closes three wards in ‘black alert’


 A norovirus outbreak has forced a UK hospital to close three wards while it is “under significant pressure”  The Royal Cornwall Hospital has declared an Opel 4 – previously known as a black alert – as it deals with the outbreak of the highly contagious vomiting bug  Opel 4 is declared when a hospital cannot deliver comprehensive care and the safety of patients are at risk, CornwallLive reports  Johanna Floyd, general manager for urgent emergency care at the hospital in Treliske, near Truro, tweeted to local media: “Opel 4, 3 wards closed with Norovirus  “Staff are working extremely hard.  “Please let your listeners know the hospital is under significant pressure this morning    “Take advice from your GP to manage any Norovirus symptoms at home. Thank you ”  The warning was issued just after 7am on Wednesday.  Norovirus is a stomach bug that causes unpleasant symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhoea, and is spread very easily through close contact with an infected person  It is Britain’s most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis.  People can also become infected by touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them and then touching their mouth, or by eating food that has been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus  Also known as the “winter vomiting bug” or stomach flu, norovirus can cause other symptoms including a high temperature, nausea and a headache, and aching arms and legs  The symptoms start suddenly within one to two days of infection.  For most sufferers, treatment can take place at home and the bug goes away in two days  People with norovirus are most infectious when they have symptoms.  They should stay off work or school until their symptoms have stopped for two days, and avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time, the NHS says  The best way to stop the virus from spreading is through frequent hand washing with soap and water  People struck down by norovirus should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains, and eat foods that are easy to digest, the NHS advises  Extra care should be taken to prevent babies, small children and the elderly who are vomiting or have diarrhoea from dehydrating as they are at risk of complications and may need hospital treatment

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