Norovirus is a virus which causes diarrhoea and/or vomiting and spreads like a cold or flu and is more common in the colder, winter months. It is also sometimes called 'gastric flu' or 'winter vomiting'.
Symptoms can begin suddenly and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach-cramps, chills and muscle aches which tend to last for around 24 hours, although the bug may last for up to 48 hours in your body.
Winter vomiting is quite infectious and can be spread quite quickly through any close contact.
Anyone, including visitors, who is suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting should not go to hospital until they have been free from symptoms for 48 hours.
Help reduce the spread of Norovirus. Wash your hands thoroughly and stay at home.
Download the two-page Norovirus information sheet (48kb)and read it now!
Download the A4 size "Stop the Spread" poster (280kb)and display it now!
- Wash your hands. Stay at home if you are ill.
- Symptoms may begin suddenly and include:
- Nausea | vomiting | tiredness | fever | diarrhoea
- muscle ache | stomach cramps | headaches.
- Stay away from hospital until you are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
About Infection Control at our hospitals
When you are admitted to hospital it can be an anxious time for you and your family or friends. Although infection may be concerning you, we want to reassure patients and relatives that the Trust takes infection control extremely seriously and we do everything we can to prevent infection affecting you or the hospital.
All our staff working with patients are well-versed with modern infection control practice as part of their training.
We have an Infection Control Team at our Trust who's responsibility is to reduce the risk of infection for all patients, staff and visitors to the Trust. This is achieved through the provision of education to all staff groups whilst ensuring appropriate evidence-based policies and systems are in place and audited.
The Infection Control Team provide daily advice and training for our staff and offer advice to patients and their relatives. Infection control needs are included within the cleaning, catering and laundry services.
Use the menus on the left to read more.
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What patients and visitors should always remember - hand washing
Hand washing is the simplest but most effective way to reduce the risk of infection. Hands should be washed with soap and water or alcoholic hand rub may be used in many situations. Visitors should also wash their hands on arrival and before leaving the ward. When you are at home hand hygiene is necessary to keep you well.
You should wash your hands:
- when visibly dirty
- after using the toilet
- after changing nappies
- before preparing food or drink
- after washing soiled bedding or clothes
- after handling pets or cleaning up after them
- after gardening
- after any cleaning.
Remember: wash hands well with soap and water. Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.
Visit the National Patient Safety Agency's cleanyourhands website.
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- Consultant Microbiologist/Dir of Infection Prevention & Control | Dr Tony Elston
- Consultant Microbiologist | Dr Gillian Urwin
- Senior Infection Control Nurse/ Team Leader | Heather Dakin
- Infection Control Nurse | Michelle Biggins
- Infection Control Support Nurse | Vicky Bywater
- Associate Infection Control Nurse | Marcia Hirst
- Antimicrobial Team Secretary | Chloe Cummings
- Audit Surveillance Nurse | Therese Elliott
- Team Secretaries | Janine Sawyer & Helen O'Neill
The team train our staff in precautions such as:
- washing hands before and after attending to each patient
- staff wearing gloves for all clinical procedures
- the protection of eyes mouth and nose against splashing with body fluids
- all wounds on skin are covered with a waterproof dressing
- wearing of a plastic apron for procedures involving direct patient care
- all clinical waste is disposed of in yellow waste bags (prior to burning)
- staff cleaning up spillages of blood and body fluids promptly
- disposing of sharp objects into suitable 'sharps' bins.
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It is our policy to screen all emergency admissions for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) when they are admitted to our hospitals. You can download our MRSA Procedure below, which we are required to publish by the Department of Health.
MRSA Procedure (2010) (229 kb)
Policy for Screening Patients for MRSA Colonisation (153 kb)
Reports and Policies
Older Infection Control annual reports