Three wards still remain closed across NHS Highland but Ward 6C at Raigmore Hospital has reopened as of today after tests showed norovirus was not present on the ward.
Cleaning has begun in Ward 2A at the hospital although the ward remains closed to new admissions, Ward 7C also remains closed to new admissions.
Rosebank Ward at Caithness General is also undergoing cleaning and it is hoped this ward will be able to reopen tomorrow (Tuesday 22nd).
Norovirus is particularly prevalent virus common in the community and healthcare settings. Typically it has a sudden onset and can spread quickly and therefore we would urge relatives and any visitors who have experienced any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting within the last forty-eight hours not to visit the hospital.
Strict infection control measures are in place throughout the hospital and we are reminding hospital visitors of the importance of hand hygiene when entering and leaving hospital premises.
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.
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. In particular try and avoid taking young children in to visit patients.
• 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 Sister or Charge Nurse know. If you think a healthcare worker has forgotten to wash their hands, remind them about this.
Notes to editors:
The two hospitals affected are –
Rosebank Ward at Caithness General Hospital – Six patients in total were affected, they have all recovered. Another two members of staff have shown symptoms, they are recovering at home, in total that makes nine members of staff affected; the other seven are all fully recovered. The ward is currently being deep cleaned and it is hoped it will be open tomorrow (Tuesday 22nd)
Ward 2A at Raigmore Hospital – 21 patients in total affected, only a small number still have symptoms. A total of 14 staff affected. Cleaning has started on the ward but it remains closed to admissions.
Ward 7C at Raigmore Hospital – 22 patients in total affected, only a small number still have symptoms. A total of 13 staff affected. The ward has been closed to admissions.
Ward 6C at Raigmore Hospital – reopened after tests showed norovirus was not present.