Think Norovirus – Keep It to Yourself

Infection prevention and control specialists in NHS Forth Valley have launched a campaign to try to prevent an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug in Forth Valley hospitals. The team are holding roadshows at a number of locations across the area to remind everyone that you don’t only contract norovirus whilst in hospital as many people bring it in from home when they visit. The roadshows will also offer advice on flu vaccinations.

Latest weekly figures from Health Protection Scotland show that two health boards outwith  Forth Valley have already experienced cases of norovirus. Anyone with diarrhoea and vomiting is asked to wait at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped before venturing into hospital, as the disease can pass easily from one person to another and catching norovirus in hospital means that patients may have to stay in longer.

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster said: “Diarrhoea and vomiting is very common during the winter months so we are appealing to people who may not feel well to help us by staying away until they feel better.”

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. It is hoped, with public support, that norovirus can be further reduced this year. All wards in Forth Valley Royal Hospital also have isolation rooms to help control this type of infection

Symptoms of Norovirus include a sudden onset of nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains or cramps, headaches, fever and tiredness. Although these symptoms usually resolve in 48-72 hours without complications, norovirus is highly contagious and unpleasant. It is very difficult to prevent infection but thorough hand washing is highly recommended. People with symptoms should not prepare food for others. If symptoms continue people are advised to contact NHS 24 on 111 for advice.

People should also remember if they are caring for someone with norovirus it is important to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Roadshows will be held from 1.00pm – 3.00pm at these locations:

  • 15th October 2015 – Howgate Shopping Centre, Falkirk – 9.30am – 11.30am, 1pm – 3pm
  • 21st October 2015 – Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert – 10am – 3pm
  • 27th October 2015 – Stirling Community Hospital, Stirling – 10am – 11.30am (Outpatients), 12.30pm – 2pm (Wards)

For further information please contact NHS Forth Valley’s Communications Department on 01786 457243.