By Robert Niezgoda, MPH
The York Teaching Hospital National Health Service Foundation has implemented visiting restrictions in response to a high level of norovirus transmission at York Hospital in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff. The increased number of cases has caused the closure of wards and has resulted in a decreased number of beds available for inpatient care. 1
Visitor restrictions have been implemented to prevent continued transmission of the virus from the community. Signs informing the public of the restrictions are displayed throughout the hospital and visitors only being allowed in exceptional circumstances such as for patients in intensive care, the children’s ward, maternity, and patients receiving end of life care. The Hospital will continue disease surveillance to evaluate the situation daily to assess the continued need for visiting restrictions.
Norovirus is a very contagious viral illness that causes acute gastroenteritis. The most common symptoms of norovirus include a combination of: vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. Additional symptoms may include: fever, headache, and body aches. Symptoms begin from 12 to 48 hours after exposure. While most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days, those who are very young, older adults, or those with chronic conditions may experience dehydration.2
- Visiting restrictions at York Hospital after norovirus outbreak. David Dunning. (Updated at 5:42pm 29th January 2019) https://www.minsterfm.com/news/local/2793973/visiting-restrictions-at-york-hospital-after-norovirus-outbreak/. Viewed online 8:54pm, 1/29/2019
- The symptoms of norovirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/symptoms.html. Viewed online 9:07pm, 1/29/2019.