SIX nursing homes in the borough and two wards at a local hospital have been hit by a highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting virus.
Health chiefs are warning people to stay away from Wigan Infirmary following the outbreak of norovirus, which can be deadly in some cases.
The fast-spreading bug has put the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary on high alert, and people are being urged to avoid hospitals and GP surgeries if they believe they or any of their family are showing symptoms.
Visitors suffering with symptoms should not visit hospitals, nursing homes or vulnerable relatives until 48 hours after symptoms cease.
This is because they are still at risk of passing on the virus, even though the symptoms have ceased.
Dr Kate Ardern, director of public health for the borough of Wigan, said: “We know that these viruses are already circulating widely in the community.
“For example, we have seen local nursing homes and nurseries affected.
“We are asking that anyone who is considering visiting relatives or friends within a hospital, nursing home or residential home not to visit if they have any symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the previous 48 hours.
“Norovirus symptoms (diarrhoea and vomiting) can be best treated by staying at home, drinking plenty of fluids and resting.
Hospital treatment is needed only if vulnerable patients become deydrated.