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TWO wards at Wigan Infirmary are working under restricted access following an outbreak of the diarrhoea and vomiting bug Norovirus.

A number of patients have been affected on the Astley and Aspull wards and health chiefs say it was necessary to temporarily restrict admissions to the wards, other than acute emergencies, to help contain spread of the virus.

Bosses at Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) say it is envisaged that these restrictions will be lifted this afternoon following thorough cleaning of the wards.

Health experts say that it is well documented that Norovirus is currently in the community, and other hospitals are affected within the region.

In an effort to prevent further ward outbreaks the Trust is appealing to the public to be sensible when considering visiting or attending our hospitals. Anyone with symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not visit our hospitals.

If you have a planned attendance, please contact the ward/department in order to protect our patients and our staff. 

Lynda Barkess-Jones, Acting Director of Infection Prevention and Control said: “Our hospitals are looking after people who are unwell and may have reduced immunity. They are more susceptible to catching Norovirus.”

She said “Anyone who has been feeling unwell recently with symptoms of diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, it is advised that they should stay away from our hospitals, until they have been free of symptoms for at least 72 hours.

“If you have been in contact with someone who has had symptoms you could also be bringing the virus into one of our hospitals. If visiting, please use the gel stations or hand wash stations available on every ward. ”

The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms include a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

Sufferers are advised to drink plenty of water, take paracetamol for fever, aches and pains and to eat foods that are easy to digest. Sufferers should not go to the doctor because Norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it.

But sufferers should contact their GPs if symptoms last or if they already have a serious illness.

Thank you for your helping us to keep your hospitals healthy.