Keep Norovirus at Bay

Infection prevention and control specialists in NHS Forth Valley are launching a campaign to try to prevent an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug in Forth Valley hospitals. The team will be holding roadshows at various locations across the area to remind everyone that you don’t only contract Norovirus whilst in hospital. People can bring it in from home when they visit.

There will also be an opportunity for people to see how clean their hands really are, by holding them under ultra violet light which shows up germs not visible to the naked eye.

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

  • 12th September – Stirling Community Hospital
  • 16th September – Forth Valley Royal Hospital
  • 24th September – Falkirk Community Hospital
  • 4th October       – Howgate Shopping Centre, Falkirk
  • 7th October       – Forth Valley Royal Hospital

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 Interim 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. All wards in the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital have isolation rooms to help control this type of infection.”

Similar campaigns have taken place over the last 2 years.  This approach has 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.

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.