Mackinnon Memorial in Broadford has closed to new admissions (as of yesterday 1st October) while staff in the hospital deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting.
The hospital has had five patients affected with symptoms, two of these are still being treated in the hospital. 14 members of staff have also been affected with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
Although not confirmed it is likely that the symptoms are caused by Norovirus. The virus, which causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, spreads in the air where someone has had diarrhoea or vomited and is extremely difficult to contain.
Chrisann O’Halloran, Charge Nurse at the hospital, said: “We know this virus is in the community and it is likely that it has been brought in to the hospital.
“This is why we are asking people not to come to the hospital to visit, and especially if anyone has had any vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48hrs. By doing this we will be able to limit to spread as much as possible.
“Hospital staff are very happy to talk to visitors on the phone so they can get updates on how their relatives are.”
There is no specific treatment for a norovirus infection and it is not usually necessary to visit a doctor. The best course of action is to stay at home, take paracetamol to relieve symptoms of any fever and to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
People should also adhere to strict hand washing techniques to reduce the spread of the virus.
The public can help to minimise the spread by following some simple rules:-
• Do not visit a hospital if you or someone you live with has symptoms.
• Wait until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours, as you may still be contagious.
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
• Ask ward staff for advice before you bring in food or drink for someone you are visiting in hospital.
• If you visit someone in hospital, don't sit on their bed and keep the number of visitors to a minimum at any one time. Never touch dressings, drips, or other equipment around the bed.
• If you think NHS premises are not as clean as they should be, let the senior Charge Nurse know. If you think a healthcare worker has forgotten to wash their hands, remind them about this.
For more information about hand hygiene visit the Scottish National Hand Hygiene Campaign website www.washyourhandsofthem.com