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Bug shuts more wards at hospital

10 January 10 16:42 GMT

Five wards have now closed at a Suffolk hospital suffering from winter sickness bug norovirus, high levels of emergencies and staff shortages.

The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds shut three wards to visitors and new admissions last week.

The hospital took steps to control the virus outbreak by deep cleaning wards but it had already spread to two more, affecting staff as well as patients.

Icy surfaces also increased numbers of people needing treatment after falls.

Visitors who show symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting are urged to stay away and people are asked to take care in the icy conditions to avoid injury.

'Very infectious'

A hospital spokeswoman said anyone coming to the hospital should wash their hands and face in soap and water before and after their visit.

Dr Caroline Baker, the hospital's infection control doctor, said: "Norovirus is very infectious and every year there are cases in the community which transfer to the hospital.

"Because the virus has an incubation period of several days, people are often unaware that they are carrying it until after they have passed it on.

"Our cleaning staff have been working hard to make sure enhanced cleaning takes place on affected wards."

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