Dec 21 2012 by Craig Robertson, Kilmarnock Standard
Crosshouse Hospital has been hit by a second outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.
One ward is currently closed and 13 patients have been affected by what’s called the ‘Norovirus’.
Five members of staff at the Kilmarnock hospital have also been struck down.
The ward has been closed to new admissions and transfers.
NHS officials would not say which ward was affected.
The outbreak follows a similar one at the end of last month when two were closed and 18 patients and one member of staff were affected.
Fiona McQueen, executive nurse director, 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 reopens to new admissions.
“Norovirus causes gastroenteritis and can affect individuals of any age.
“It is more common in winter months.
“It is usually a mild illness that lasts a few days and has no lasting effects.
“Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting caused by this virus can be brought into hospital by affected patients or occasionally by affected staff or relatives.”
And she issued the following advice: “Members of the public can help us to control outbreaks of Norovirus by taking a few simple precautions: 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 young children who are under 14 years to visit.”