23 February 2023

Relatives asked to protect patients from Norovirus as cases increase in our community

 Sheffield Teaching Hospitals are asking you to help protect patients from winter sickness bug ‘Norovirus’ as cases have increased in our area.

Friends and relatives are being advised to avoid visiting the hospitals if they, or anyone around them, have had sickness or diarrhoea within 72 hours to prevent passing the bug onto vulnerable patients.

Although most people make a full recovery within 1-2 days, the bug can make hospital patients very weak and dehydrated and in some cases it can interfere with the effectiveness of the medicines they are taking.

Professor Christopher Morley, Chief Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said; “We are really asking the public for their help in preventing the spread of this unpleasant winter bug. We would like people to think about whether they or anyone close to them such as family, friends or colleagues have had diarrhoea, vomiting or fever within the last 72 hours. If this is the case then they should avoid visiting hospital and use alternative methods of contact to prevent the risk of the bug coming into wards.”

Even if you do not think you could have been exposed to the bug, visitors should follow these simple steps:

• Always wash your hands with soap & hot water and/or use alcohol hand rub when entering and leaving the ward.

• Do not sit on the patient’s bed. If you intend to visit your friend or relative please do not sit on their bed or the patient’s chair. Visitors’ chairs are provided – please ask the nurse if you need more.

• Do not be afraid to check that staff have decontaminated their hands either by washing them with soap and water or using the alcohol hand rub – they do not mind and expect patients and visitors to ask.

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