Hospital bosses have issued a public health alert about Norovirus after confirming a number of patients are being treated for the winter bug on wards in Sheffield.
Friends and relatives are being advised to avoid visiting hospitals in Sheffield if they have had sickness or diarrhoea within 72 hours to prevent passing the bug onto vulnerable patients.
Although most people make a full recovery within one or two days, the bug can make hospital patients feel even more poorly and in some cases can interfere with the effectiveness of the medicines they are taking.
Hospital chiefs today denied claims that a ward at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital had to be closed off due to an outbreak of the bug.
But they did confirm a number of patients are being treated for the illness in Sheffield’s hospitals.
Chris Morley, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have not got any wards closed currently because of Norovirus but we have had a small number of patients with the illness which is quite common at this time of year.
“We will usually care for patients with Norovirus in particular areas of a ward to prevent the spread of infection to other people.
“At this time of year the public can help prevent Norovirus coming into hospital by not visiting if they feel unwell or have had any symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting or "flu-like" symptoms in the previous 72 hours.
“This means that their loved ones and other patients and staff won’t be put at risk of catching the illness.
“Ensuring visitors wash their hands or use the alcohol gel provided as the enter and leave wards is also incredibly important.”