A Pilgrim Hospital ward is now accepting admissions as hospital bosses claim the norovirus situation is improving - taking the number closed due to the outbreak down to five.
A spokesman for United Lincolnshire’s Hospital Trust, which runs the site, said fewer patients and staff now have active symptoms and the hospital is hoping to open three further wards on Saturday.
However, they advised that anyone wanting to visit friends or relatives should still ring the ward beforehand so they can advise whether it is ‘appropriate or not’. They said this was in order to continue to protect patients, visitors and staff.
Medical Director at the trust Dr Suneil Kapadia said: “Our staff are working incredibly hard to contain the outbreak and support patients and families. I’d also like to thank all those people who have stayed away from hospital.
“Norovirus is the most common cause of stomach bugs. The virus is easily transmitted from one person to another by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or drink, or touching contaminated surfaces or objects. Around 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected, the virus causes sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and diarrhoea. Therefore it’s really important to make sure that we protect vulnerable patients and hospital staff.
“This is why we are asking everyone considering visiting a friend or relative in hospital to think carefully about whether they need to come if they have experienced diarrhoea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms in the past four days. Before visiting a loved one in hospital, please call ahead to talk to staff to make sure it’s the best thing to do.
“We know that sometimes visitors feel that they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives, however if they themselves have been unwell, they could be putting others at risk.”
The other wards and beds will only reopen for admissions once the patients have been discharged and the area has been symptom free for up to 72hrs. Then the wards will need to be deep cleaned to eliminate all signs of the virus.
Wards can be contacted via switchboard on 01205 364801.
If you have norovirus, the best things you can do are rest, and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration.
People worried about prolonged symptoms, should contact NHS 111 or ring their GP surgery.