Norovirus crisis continues at Lincoln County Hospital

Lincoln County Hospital
Image caption The number of visitors per patient will be limited to a maximum of two at a time "in all but exceptional circumstances"

A hospital is still dealing with a "serious" norovirus outbreak - more than three weeks after it first began.

Patients and staff at Lincoln County Hospital were first hit by the winter vomiting bug on 18 December.

Seven wards are currently closed and access is being restricted in three other wards, affecting 50 beds.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, has also restricted access to two other hospitals in the county.

'New cases'

Andrew Prydderch, the trust's deputy director of operations, said the situation "remains difficult".

"We've had a lot of attendances over the weekend as we expected, with numbers higher than 200 coming into A&E on most of the days," he said.

"We've had a continuation of the outbreak, both from existing cases on the wards but also quite a few new cases coming in as well."

Image caption Lincoln County Hospital has closed and restricted a total of 10 wards, which has affected 50 beds

Three wards at the hospital are being cleaned in the hope they will reopen in the next 24 hours.

The trust is asking anyone planning to visit Lincoln County, Boston Pilgrim or Grantham District hospitals to stay at home if they, or their family members, have had diarrhoea, vomiting or "flu-like" symptoms in the past three days.

A trust spokeswoman said the request was a precaution to "contain [the outbreak] as much as possible".

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Most people recover from norovirus within one to two 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

Source: NHS Choices website

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