Norovirus breakout in three Welsh hospitals

Norovirus, or the winter sickness bug as it’s known to many, has caused five wards in two South Wales hospitals to close.

Morriston Hospital has closed two wards and Neath Port Talbot Hospital has closed three after reported outbreaks of norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting. University Hospital Llandough has also suffered three ward closures.

Due to the outbreaks, the health board have advised a “sensible” approach to visiting, advising anyone who has to visit to follow “the advice at the entrances to wards and practice good hand hygiene”, in order to avoid spreading the infection.

Dr Eleri Davies, the director for infection prevention and control said:

“It is very difficult to stop the spread of norovirus once it is in hospital so we are asking the public to help support us by restricting visiting to what is absolutely necessary.”

The health board have expressed the importance of avoiding the hospitals unless absolutely necessary, which means assessing the seriousness of any injury or illness and selecting the correct service rather than merely descending on emergency departments. The emergency departments should only be used when absolutely necessary. “By doing this you will receive appropriate care as quickly as possible and free up our emergency doctors to see those patients who need them most.”