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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 15:33 GMT
Hospital identifies winter bug
Singleton Hospital
Singleton Hospital has been forced to shut three wards
A west Wales hospital which had to close three of its wards because of a mystery illness has identified the virus at the centre of the outbreak.

Managers at Swansea's Singleton Hospital have said the Norwalk virus, which causes sickness and diarrhoea, may have been spread to the site by a visitor.


Some of patients who have it have not been here long enough to contract it inside the hospital and we know there are cases out in the community

Andrew Bellamy, Swansea NHS Trust

A total of 30 patients and 15 staff have been affected by the bug which is also known as the 'winter vomiting bug'.

Two medical wards and one surgical ward involving 75 beds have been closed but the hospital hopes to be able to reopen one ward on Wednesday.

All affected areas will have to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before they can take patients again.

A specialist in-house team has been investigating the outbreak of the virus.

Strict measures were put in place to prevent it from spreading.

Andrew Bellamy, a spokesman for Swansea NHS Trust said: "Some of patients who have it have not been here long enough to contract it inside the hospital and we know there are cases out in the community.

Ward on Wrexham Maelor Hospital
A similar bug hit Wrexham Maelor hospital earlier this month

"None of those affected are seriously ill but the symptoms are unpleasant.

"The impact has been the cancellation of about 12 elective non-urgent surgical cases.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused to patients.

"We stopped new admissions from last Friday onwards but once patients are fit to go home they are allowed to do so."

Visitors have been warned about the virus and have been urged to wash their hands when leaving the hospital.

Those visiting infected patients have been asked to wear gloves and gowns.

Other outbreaks

Meanwhile, two hospitals in north Wales have been hit by a separate strain of the winter virus.

Operations have been cancelled and admissions to wards restricted at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor and Wrexham's Maelor Hospital.

The bug is known as SRVS - Small Round Structured Virus .

It has since been brought under control at Wrexham Maelor but is still affecting Ysbyty Gwynedd where there have been up to 40 cases.


More from south west Wales
See also:

04 Nov 02 | Wales
19 Oct 02 | England
17 Sep 02 | England
12 Sep 02 | England
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