Kent

Norovirus outbreak shuts wards at Maidstone Hospital

  • 5 February 2013
  • From the section Kent
Maidstone Hospital
Visitors have been told to stay away from Maidstone Hospital because of the norovirus outbreak

Five wards at a Kent hospital have been closed to new admissions because of an outbreak of the norovirus bug.

Visitors to Maidstone Hospital are being asked not to visit family and friends and to check beforehand if it is urgent or exceptional circumstances.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said it was a practical measure to ensure the virus was contained within the wards and did not spread further.

Spokesman Darren Yates said there had been a rise in cases since the weekend.

"Norovirus is a common virus in the community this time of year.

"It's quite short-lived - between 24 and 72 hours - so some of our wards will open shortly," he added.

'Reviewed daily'

The trust said visitors could continue to attend Tunbridge Wells Hospital but to only visit patients there if absolutely necessary to help reduce the risk of infection.

It said the situation at Maidstone Hospital would be reviewed daily.

"When normal visiting hours are back in place, we would urge anyone feeling unwell still not to come into the hospital to visit patients, and not to bring children," Dr Sara Mumford, director of infection prevention and control, said.

"If anyone has suffered with sickness and diarrhoea, they should ensure they have been clear of any symptoms for 72 hours before they attend the hospital to visit relatives or friends."

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