Highlands & Islands

Vomiting bug shuts surgical ward at Raigmore Hospital

An outbreak of the winter vomiting bug, norovirus, has temporarily closed a ward to new admissions and visitors at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

NHS Highland said the decision to shut surgical ward 3A followed five patients being struck down by sickness and diarrhoea.

Three of the five have continued to show symptoms of the bug.

Norovirus, which spreads through the air where someone has been sick, has been confirmed.

Dr Emma Watson, consultant microbiologist for NHS Highland, said the virus was affecting people in the wider community and it was likely that it had been brought into the hospital.

She said: "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.

"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 the bug and it was not usually necessary to visit a doctor.

It 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 adhere to strict hand washing techniques to reduce the spread of the virus, the health board advised.

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