Doctors warn visitors to keep away from Northants hospitals after rise in people with norovirus bug

The NHS in Northamptonshire is advising people not to visit hospitals if they've had diarrhoea or have been sick within 48 hours.
The NHS in Northamptonshire is advising people not to visit hospitals if they've had diarrhoea or have been sick within 48 hours.

Medics are warning patients to stay away from visiting friends and family in hospital if they have been infected by the norovirus bug.

With health services across Northamptonshire seeing a higher than usual number of patients with norovirus, doctors are telling loved ones to stay away from hospital for two days after diarrhoea and sickness symptoms have stopped to avoid it spreading.

GP Emma Donnelly and urgent care lead for the Northamptonshire CCGs (NHS Corby CCG and NHS Nene CCG) said: “Norovirus (diarrhoea and vomiting) is an unpleasant and infectious condition.

"For most people symptoms will usually pass within a few days with plenty of bed rest, fluids and paracetamol for tummy cramps or temperature. Washing your hands regularly reduces the risk of passing on the infection to other members of your household.

“However, for patients who are weak because they are in hospital or are elderly, the symptoms of norovirus can be much more serious. If you have diarrhoea or vomiting symptoms please do not attend hospital until at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped as there is a risk of spreading the infection."

If you do need health advice in Northamptonshire doctors say you can seek from:

Your local pharmacy

Many common illnesses such as diarrhoea and vomiting can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy.

You can speak to a pharmacist without having to make an appointment.

Your pharmacist can advise you how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments, and provide advice on how on how to quit smoking.

Many also offer the flu vaccination.

To find your local pharmacy and the services it offers, visit nhs.uk

NHS 111 service

If you need medical help quickly, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the free telephone service is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.

You can also get advice and speak with an advisor online here.