Help us keep our hospital safe this winter

27 December 2017

Visitors are being urged to stay away from Colchester General Hospital if they have shown symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting to help staff keep the wards safe and free from highly-contagious illness over the winter.

Infection control experts at the hospital are reminding people who have been unwell with the diarrhoea and vomiting virus to stay away for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone – even if they feel better. Anyone visiting should also take extra care to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water both on arrival and when leaving the hospital.

Catherine Morgan, director of nursing at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re asking people to help us to keep our hospital safe this winter by taking extra precautions to limit the spread of this highly infectious illness.

“Every year, we see cases transfer from the community into the hospital. Because the virus has an incubation period of several days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.

“We would advise anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting or who has been in contact with someone who has to stay away from the hospital for at least 48 hours after they have recovered, even if they feel better. Otherwise they run the risk of unknowingly passing the bug on to someone who is already sick.”

Norovirus symptoms can begin suddenly and include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, fever, diarrhoea, muscle aches, stomach cramps and headaches.