Nov 30 2012 by Craig Robertson, Kilmarnock Standard
Eighteen patients at Crosshouse Hospital have been struck down by the winter vomiting bug.
Two wards have been closed to new admissions at the Kilmarnock site after the outbreak of norovirus.
One member of staff has also been affected.
NHS infection control teams are trying to contain the outbreak.
A spokeswoman for the health board said: “When a ward is affected by norovirus, our infection control team works with nursing and domestic staff to try to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes separating affected patients from patients who are not affected and carrying out rigorous cleaning procedures both during the outbreak and before the ward re-opens to new admissions.”
Norovirus causes gastroenteritis and can affect people of any age. It is said to be more common in winter months and is usually a mild illness that lasts a few days with no lasting effects. Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting caused by the virus can be brought into hospital by affected patients or occasionally by affected staff or relatives.
The spokeswoman issued the advice on how to protect against outbreaks.
She said: “If you have been affected with diarrhoea and vomiting please do not visit patients in hospital until you have made a full recovery - 48 hours since your last symptoms.
“Please wash your hands with liquid soap and water when you come into the ward and before you leave.
“ If your hands get soiled during your visit, please wash them again. We will be happy to show you where you can wash your hands.
“Please try to avoid visiting patients in other hospital departments. If this is necessary, make sure that you visit the closed ward last. Limit the number of visitors and do not bring children under 14 years.”