Dunedin Hospital is restricting visitors in an effort to
contain its suspected norovirus outbreak which was affecting
five wards yesterday.
All people arriving at the hospital must go to the patient
inquiries desk in the main foyer to find out whether they can
visit the wards or make deliveries.
Stop signs at the entrances to the hospital will ask people
to stay away if they have had vomiting or diarrhoea.
Family doctors, rest homes and long-stay hospitals are also
being asked to care for people with norovirus in the
community unless their condition warrants hospital care.
In the past fortnight the bug has hit six wards at the
hospital, affecting 39 patients and staff.
Yesterday, two cardiology wards - 7C and 7B - were added to
the list of wards affected.
Other wards affected are 8A and 8B. The only two wards closed
are 8A and 7A.
No patients are admitted and no visitors are allowed on those
The hospital is urging all staff and other people who are ill
or have an ill family to stay away until they have been free
of symptoms for 48 hours.
The first in the series of outbreaks occurred last week in
Operations manager Megan Boivin said last night the situation
regarding restrictions would be reviewed today.
People who were allowed to visit wards, after checking first,
would be asked to use microbial gels before getting in the
lift, and gel stations would be placed outside the wards.
The hospital has had some patients with vomiting and
diarrhoea attending the Emergency Department, but often such
patients had other conditions as well, she said.
Bed numbers at the hospital were fairly tight, with only 14
available last night.
This week's outbreak meant the board's infection prevention
and control charge nurse manager Jo Stodart had to return
early from the national conference of the New Zealand Nurses
Organisation's infection control division in Hamilton, and
she missed her election as the group's chairwoman.