Vomiting bug shuts ward at Raigmore Hospital
A ward at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness has been closed to new admissions and visitors after patients were struck down by a vomiting bug.
NHS Highland said 14 patients at medical ward 2A had been affected, with nine still experiencing sickness.
The health board said norovirus had been confirmed as the cause in five of the cases.
The virus, which causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, spreads in the air where someone has been sick.
Dr Adam Brown, consultant microbiologist for NHS Highland, said: "We know that norovirus is out there in the community and it is likely it has been brought into the hospital.
"As well as restricting visiting to the affected ward we are also asking people not to come to the hospital to visit if they have had any vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48 hours. By doing this we will be able to limit the spread as much as possible."
He added: "Hospital staff will of course be very happy to talk to visitors on the phone so they can get updates on how their relatives are."
NHS Highland said there was no specific treatment for a norovirus infection and it was not usually necessary to visit a doctor.
The health board said the best course of action was to stay at home, take paracetamol to relieve symptoms of any fever and to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
People should also wash their hands to reduce the spread of the virus.