Airedale Hospital has issued a plea to visitors to help in the fight against the common winter bug norovirus that can cause diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

Although the hospital has many infection prevention measures in place, visitors and relatives can also play their part by not coming to hospital if they have:

  *   had vomiting and/or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours;
  *   coughs, colds or flu-like symptoms;
  *   had contact with anyone with any of the above.

If you have any of the above symptoms and visit loved ones in hospital there is a significant risk that you will pass this on.

Director of Nursing at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Rob Dearden, says: “We know that visitors sometimes feel they must take every opportunity – particularly at Christmas – to visit sick friends or relatives in hospital, even if they are unwell themselves.  However, there is a chance they could pass on illnesses to their loved ones so we are asking anyone who has had any symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting to not visit hospital until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have gone.”

Friends and relatives who are well and are visiting patients are also being asked to wash their hands with soap and water, as hand gel is ineffective against Norovirus, and not to eat or drink on the wards whilst they are visiting.

Rob Dearden adds: “Many hospital patients are particularly vulnerable to infection and maintaining their safety is paramount.  I would ask members of the public, visitors and relatives to stick to the guidance we’ve issued to support us in preventing any potential spread of infection.”

Notices and posters are in place at main entrances and around the hospital to remind visitors.