Public health officials have warned that norovirus is known to be circulating in the community in North Wales, with a number of hospitals affected.
Public Health Wales noted that a number of wards at Wrexham Maelor, Chirk and Mold community hospitals were closed or partially closed to admissions due to outbreaks of norovirus.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has already issued guidance to visitors, patients and staff at its facilities on the best ways to limit the spread of norovirus.
But Public Health Wales said that, due to the “nature and seasonality of the disease”, it was issuing further advice to the public on how to avoid catching and spreading norovirus.
It has set out the following five basic ways to manage diarrhoea and vomiting, and prevent the spread of norovirus:
- Careful handwashing is the most important prevention measure that you can take. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and dry afterwards. Do not share towels.
- Wash soiled clothing and bed linen on “hot cycle”, and then wash hands. Wherever possible use gloves when handling soiled articles from ill people.
- If looking after someone with diarrhoea and vomiting, carefully clean and then disinfect toilet seats, flush handles, wash-hand basin taps and toilet door handles daily and after use. Use a bleach-based household cleaner, diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Maintain good personal hygiene and hygienic preparation and serving of food.
- If you have diarrhoea and vomiting, don’t return to school or work or prepare food until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours. Don’t visit patients in local hospitals and long-term care facilities, or elderly or vulnerable people. While many people tend to feel better quite quickly, the illness can still be spread if they return to work or school within 48 hours of the last symptom.