Lincoln County Hospital norovirus outbreak hits nine wards

Lincoln County Hospital
Image caption Lincoln County Hospital has closed and restricted a total of nine wards

Four hospital wards have been closed after patients and staff were hit with the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

Lincoln County Hospital has also restricted admissions to five more wards following the outbreak.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, said the ward closures were to prevent the virus spreading.

The trust declined to specify which wards were shut, but said no children's wards had been affected.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Between 600,000 and a million people in the UK become infected with norovirus each year

Michelle Rhodes, director of nursing at the trust, said the "highly contagious" virus could spread rapidly in hospitals.

"Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting and, just like flu, the virus can seriously affect vulnerable patients," she said.

"If you have norovirus symptoms, please do not attend A&E. The best thing you can do is rest and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration."

A trust spokesman said some areas of the hospital were expected to reopen following deep cleaning over the next few days.

Norovirus and its symptoms

  • About 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected, the norovirus causes a sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Some people may have a fever, headaches and aching limbs
  • Most people make a full recovery within one to two days, but the very old and very young risk becoming dehydrated which may require hospital treatment
  • The virus is easily transmitted from one person to another by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or drink, or touching contaminated surfaces or objects
  • There is no treatment other than to let the illness run its course

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