Health organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire are joining together to urge the public to help prevent the spread of the highly contagious winter sickness bug, norovirus.
Norovirus is currently present in the community and confirmed on Victoria, Hatton and Nicholas wards and Squire ward, B bay only at Warwick Hospital. Ellen Badger Hospital is also closed due to an outbreak of norovirus. Health professionals are asking the public to help prevent the spread of norovirus, which can be very dangerous to elderly and sick people, by staying away from hospitals if at all possible if they have had any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms and to take note of the following advice.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water. If you are in an NHS facility as well as washing your hands you should use the hand gels available.
- Ensure that toilet areas in your home are kept clean, particularly if you have been experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Wash any clothing or linen that could be contaminated with norovirus.
- Disinfect any hard surfaces that could be contaminated.
- Stay away from hospitals, work, school or social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
Norovirus is very common at this time of year and outbreaks of the virus are being reported around the country. For most people it is no worse than a short bout of diarrhoea and vomiting that should clear up within 24-72 hours. However, for the more vulnerable, it can have a more significant effect.
A&E is for accidents and emergencies only and departments are currently experiencing extreme demand. Members of the public are reminded not to attend A&E departments unless experiencing a genuine accident or emergency such as broken bones, heavy blood loss, chest pains or unconsciousness.
People experiencing minor illnesses or feeling under the weather should seek early advice from their local pharmacist. If you need medical help but it is not a 999 emergency, call NHS111 – a free telephone advice service, which is open 24/7.