Remember to avoid visiting the hospital if you have any symptoms of Norovirus

At this time of year, Norovirus can be a higher risk to our patients, visitors and staff. To help curb the spread, you should not come to the hospital if you are experiencing diarrhoea or vomiting.

Please see our guide below for those experiencing the symptoms of Norovirus, or for those visiting patients at East Surrey Hospital:

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting) in England and Wales. The illness is generally mild and people usually recover fully within 2-3 days..

Norovirus is sometimes referred to as “Winter Vomiting Disease” due the seasonal nature of outbreaks, usually November to March, but can occur at anytime.

Norovirus is highly infectious. It is vital if you feel unwell with gastrointestinal symptoms, vomiting and or diarrhoea, that you should not visit the hospital or your GP. Instead you should seek advice virtually through NHS 111 online or on the phone to avoid the risk of spreading the infection. If symptoms persist for more than 3-4 days, then it is advised that you seek medical attention through your GP or 111.

How does Norovirus spread?

Norovirus can be transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces and objects. It can also be passed on by physical contact with an infected person. Norovirus spreads easily in the hospital due

to close contact between patients and staff.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea followed by severe vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people may have a raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs. You can find out more about symptoms and treatment here.

Advice for visitors

If you have had diarrhoea or vomiting, you should not come to the hospital until you have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.

You may be asked to speak to the nursing staff when you enter a ward and before you visit your friend or relative. You may also be asked to wear gloves and aprons when visiting a patient in an affected bay. It’s vital that you clean your hands before and after your visit and avoid visiting other areas of the hospital.

If your relative or friend is affected by diarrhoea and/or vomiting, you should only visit if it is absolutely necessary. In some cases, some wards or areas may be closed to reduce the risk of the infection spreading to visitors or others.