Visitors told to avoid Scunthorpe General Hospital ward after outbreak of norovirus
A WARD was shut to visitors at Scunthorpe General Hospital after an increase in norovirus cases in North Lincolnshire.
Health officials have urged people to avoid visiting relatives and friends at the hospital to combat the risk of spreading the vomiting bug.
A message to all callers to the hospital said there were restrictions on visitors and officials told the Telegraph that a ward had been shut but has since reopened.
An increase in cases of norovirus has been reported by the Health Protection Agency, although officials say they cannot calculate how many there have been.
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Symptoms of the virus include diarrhoea and/or vomiting, a raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs.
The virus, which is especially common at this time of the year, is highly infectious and spreads easily.
Norovirus is normally brought into hospitals by patients, visiting relatives or staff.
A message on Scunthorpe General Hospital's phoneline still being used at the time of going to press said: "At the moment, there are cases of infectious diarrhoea and vomiting in the hospital.
"There is currently no visiting on some of the wards without prior arrangements with the nurse in charge and visiting to other wards may be restricted. It is important if you have had diarrhoea or vomiting within the last few days that you must not visit the hospital."
Dr Stephen Morton, director at the Health Protection Agency in the Yorkshire and Humber region, said: "Many people don't realise how easily norovirus is spread, and therefore just how important it is for infected people to follow good hygiene measures, including thorough hand-washing.
"Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for the virus, apart from letting the illness run its course and so, in the vast majority of cases, there is no additional benefit to visiting a GP or an A and E department."