Norovirus strikes hospital staff and patients

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By Hannah O’Hanlon

Members of the public should avoid Campbeltown Hospital unless it is an emergency.

Staff and patients have been struck down by the highly contagious norovirus.

An NHS spokesperson confirmed, on Wednesday, that it was the virus, also called the winter vomiting bug, although it can be contracted at any time of the year, causing diarrhoea and vomiting at the hospital.

Greenwood Residential Unit, which shares its premises with Woodlands Resource Centre, has been hit by a similar illness but it had not been confirmed as norovirus when the Courier went to press.

It was announced last Friday that a Woodlands open day, scheduled to take place yesterday, had been postponed.

The spokesperson said that the event had been rearranged ‘as a precaution’ to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.

The first sign of norovirus is usually a sudden sick feeling, followed by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

A statement from the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership on Monday advised that visiting access at both facilities is restricted and that those planning to visit should contact the nurse in charge at the hospital and the unit manager at Greenwood to be assessed.

The statement said: ‘If you, or someone you live with, has had symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting then we would ask you to refrain from coming to the hospital or residential unit until you are clear of symptoms for 48 hours.

‘People should also adhere to strict hand-washing techniques to reduce the spread of the virus.’

The hospital is reviewing the restrictions, which are still in place, on a daily basis but people can remain contagious even after they are clear of symptoms.

Woodlands Resource Centre’s open day has been rescheduled for November 15.

It will provide members of the public access to the adult day care facility from 1pm until 3pm, to meet the staff, enjoy light refreshments and browse information stands on available classes, groups and activities.