Visitors banned from Raigmore Hospital in Inverness due to norovirus
All visitors are being turned away from Raigmore Hospital in Inverness due to the scale of a norovirus outbreak.
NHS Highland said 47 people had been affected by the sickness and diarrhoea bug and three wards had now been closed to new admissions.
Hospital bosses said they hoped the temporary suspension of hospital visits would help prevent any further spread of the vomiting bug.
They said exceptions to the visiting ban could be made in emergencies.
This will have to be done by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge.
Dr Chin Lim, consultant microbiologist for NHS Highland, said: "We have taken the decision today to suspend all visiting at Raigmore Hospital on a temporary basis.
"We currently have a high number of patients in hospital with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting and we also know it is found in the community.
"By reducing the amount of traffic coming in to the hospital we hope that will reduce the risk of any further outbreaks of norovirus."
Iona McGauran, lead nurse for Raigmore Hospital, said: "We are asking members of the public not to come in to hospital to visit any ward however, there will be exceptions to that rule, such as an emergency situation, which can be arranged by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge.
"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.
"We appreciate your understanding for why we have had to take this decision and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused."