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East Lancashire hospital vomit bug levels soar
There were almost four times the number of norovirus cases in East Lancashire hospitals in 2012 compared with the previous year.
Bosses said 11 wards, a total of 42 patients, had been affected by the vomiting and diarrhoea between April and December 2012 compared with just three wards and 11 patients at the same time the year before.
The region’s hospitals have come under pressure this week because of the bug, with the Royal Blackburn Hospital being forced to cancel most of its non-emergency operations because of an ‘unprecedented’ number of admissions of very sick and elderly patients.
Some day case operations and endoscopy procedures had to be moved to Burnley General Hospital.
Patients also faced ‘significant’ waits because of the increased cases of people with flu and norovirus.
Hospital staff have also been hit with 12 coming down with the bug in 2012, four times as many compared with the figures for the previous year.
Infection control matron Beverly Aspin said: “It is worse in terms of cases this year, not helped by the mild weather and the fact it has started earlier.
“However, we have robust systems in place to contain any outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting and whenever a patient presents with these symptoms, the target is to get them into a single room to contain it so it doesn’t spread to other patients or staff.
“Deep cleaning also takes place.
“An infection control nurse is on duty 24/7, good hand hygiene and infection control is promoted throughout the trust and we would remind people with any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms to not visit the hospital until they have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours. ”
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