Norovirus shuts wards and unit at three Sussex hospitals

Wards at two hospitals have been shut and a unit at another has been closed to new admissions following an outbreak of the winter vomiting virus.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said there had been five confirmed cases of norovirus and 20 patients show symptoms of the condition.

The affected wards have closed at the Eastbourne District General Hospital and Hasting's Conquest Hospital.

The Irvine Unit at Bexhill is also not accepting new admissions.

The trust has urged anyone showing signs of the illness to stay away from hospital.

'Good hygiene'

Dr Barry Phillips, director of infection prevention and control, said: "Norovirus is highly infectious. To help contain it we have restricted the movement of patients around the hospital and introduced stringent infection control measures.

"In particular attention to good hygiene measures should be observed.

"The public can help contain the spread of this virus by not visiting friends or relatives in hospital if they are experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting and feel unwell with gastrointestinal symptoms.

"Please don't help pass it on.

"This is highlighted by the fact that the incident at Conquest has been caused by a visitor who had previously been visiting an infected patient at Bexhill.

"Also, if you are visiting a relative or friend in hospital we do not recommend storing food in open containers in ward areas such as fruit bowls, so bring food gifts for patients in sealable containers only."

Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

The symptoms begin about 12 to 48 hours after infection and usually last for between 12 and 60 hours.

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