Campaign Aims To Raise Awareness of Norovirus
Members of the NHS Forth Valley infection prevention and control team will be available to answer questions on Norovirus and how to stop its spread when they hold a series of awareness sessions at local hospitals.
Over the next few weeks there will be information stands in hospitals across the area, stressing why it is important not to bring the bug into healthcare settings. Recent figures published by Health Protection Scotland show that five health boards out-with Forth Valley have already experienced cases of Norovirus.
Trisha Miller, NHS Forth Valley’s Lead Nurse for Infection Prevention and Control explained: “Norovirus is a common cause of diarrhoea and vomiting especially during the winter months. The key message is that anyone with symptoms should stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared to avoid spreading it further.
“Washing your hands regularly with soap and water and using separate towels will also help prevent you from passing the virus onto others.”
NHS Forth Valley Director’s of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster added: “All wards in the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital have isolation rooms to help control this type of infection.
Similar campaigns over the last few years have proved highly successful and resulted in reduced numbers of Norovirus outbreaks, and fewer wards being closed to admission in Forth Valley hospitals. However, there is no room for complacency, and we hope, with public support, that Norovirus can be further reduced this year.”
Norovirus can affect people of any age and is highly contagious and so can spread quickly and easily. It can also cause complications for people who are already ill, such as patients in hospital and care homes, who can sometimes get quite poorly as the illness can interfere with the effectiveness of the medicines they are taking and also make them weak and dehydrated. Babies and young children also have a greater risk of becoming dehydrated.
Further information and advice on Norovirus, including what to do if you have Norovirus and when you should seek medical advice, can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk