With at least six hospitals reporting closing wards due to norovirus, according to unofficial data from the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) as of Sept. 29, officials have declared that norovirus season has begun.
Dr Evonne Curran, Infection Control Nurse Consultant at HPS, said: “Norovirus is a highly infectious virus that causes outbreaks in the community, healthcare and care settings every year.
“This is about the time of year when norovirus season usually starts. Letting everyone know that norovirus season has started enables preparedness plans to be put in to action. Health professionals across NHS Scotland are working to minimise the likelihood of outbreaks arising and the public is being asked to play their part too.
“To help reduce the risk of outbreaks in hospitals, care settings and the wider community, we are again asking members of the public who think they have norovirus to “Stay at Home” until at least 48 hours after any symptoms have stopped.
“As norovirus is so infectious, it is important that everyone plays their part in reducing outbreak risks. To do this, hospitals may suspend access to particular wards to protect patients, staff and visitors from norovirus.
“With the public’s help, we can limit the impact of any norovirus outbreaks that do occur and minimize disruption to healthcare services.”
Norovirus generally causes mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and/or diarrhea but can be more serious among the elderly and people who are already unwell.