May 16 2012 by Sandy Kilpatrick, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
MORE than 140 people have been hit by the winter vomiting bug at Dumfries Infirmary.
Ninety-five patients and 53 staff have been taken ill at the hospital in the past 12 days.
Patients at Midpark Hospital, Dumfries, and Annan Hospital are also being “closely monitored” for Norovirus.
Five wards at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, including elderly patient and new medical admission wards, remain closed since the outbreak began on Friday, May 4.
Outbreak control specialists are calling for family and friends of patients to “avoid” all wards to prevent any further spread of the viral infection.
Dr Martin Connor, consultant microbiologist who chairs the Outbreak Control Meetings, told the Standard: “Our staff are working hard to deal with the outbreak and its effects on our patients and we are implementing all appropriate infection control procedures.
“Because we know it is in the community we are stressing the importance of avoiding visiting the affected wards in the hospital and especially not to visit if any member of the public or their families are showing symptoms of the illness.”
Wards four and seven have also been affected but remain operating normally.
Dr Connor added: “The actions taken to date have enabled us to re-open ward 12 for admissions and transfers and, as we continue to make progress in dealing with the outbreak, we hope to be able to re-open wards 10 and 14 today.”
A spokesman for the health board added: “A number of patients in Midpark Hospital, Dumfries and Annan Hospital have also shown signs of the symptoms and are being closely monitored.
“Relatives and visitors concerned with the need to visit loved ones are advised to contact the ward concerned for advice before coming to the hospital.
“We apologise for the inconvenience these necessary precautions are causing to ward visiting but with the co-operation of the public and their assistance in adhering to hand hygiene measures in place, we remain confident that we can restrict the spread of infection as far as possible.”