MANAGEMENT at Wexford General Hospital have stepped up their fight against the spread of the Norovirus vomiting bug by implementing a full ban on visiting the hospital.
Visiting to all wards is prohibited with the exception of the children's ward and maternity unit. Parents are permitted to visit the children's ward and a partner or a designated person is allowed to visit patients on the maternity ward.
Management have also stated that in exceptional circumstances such as the case of critical care patients leniency will exercised and some visiting may be permitted.
The hospital is also asking the public that only genuine emergencies should present at the Emergency Department and where possible that people should consult their GP or Caredoc service before coming into casualty.
General manager Lily Byrnes has asked for co-operation from the public with regards to the visiting restrictions and reiterated how important it is for patients that these infection control measures are respected.
'Patient care is our priority and we would urge the public to help hospital staff keep the virus at bay as it can further debilitate those who are already sick in hospital,' she said.
' The vomiting bug is currently in the community and people may unknowingly bring the bug into the hospital when visiting sick relatives or friends.'
The HSE has issued information on the virus and how to curb it spreading in the community.
Norovirus does not usually cause serious illness, but it is very easily spread.
' The principal symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and generally begin very suddenly with nausea followed by projectile vomiting. A little later watery diarrhoea may develop as well.'
Regular handwashing can help stamp out the spread of the bug. There is no specific treatment for those affected, apart from sipping plenty of clear fluids such as water or flat lemonade.