Norovirus outbreak spreads to nine wards at Lincoln County Hospital

The number of wards affected by an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug ‘norovirus’ has grown to nine, with people being advised not to visit patients.

As previously reported, three wards were closed and four more were restricted on Friday, December 18 due to the outbreak.

The latest update from the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust is that four wards are now closed at the hospital, and five are restricting admissions.

An infection prevention team carried out reviews of affected patients on the morning of Monday, December 21.

Staff are undertaking deep cleaning of the wards and a spokesperson for the trust said some areas are expected to reopen again over the next few days.

The wards affected have not been specified by ULHT as this is an ‘ever-changing picture’.

Those considering visiting a friend or relative in hospital are being asked to ‘think carefully’ about whether they need to come.

Anyone that has experienced diarrhoea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms in the last 72 hours they should not visit.

Staff say it’s important that small children do not visit as they are more at risk and also more likely to transmit the virus.

Michelle Rhodes, Director of Nursing at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said previously: “We know that sometimes people feel that they must take every opportunity to visit their sick friends or relatives, particularly at Christmas. However if they have been unwell, they could be putting others at risk.

“Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting and, just like flu, the virus can seriously affect vulnerable patients.

“If you have norovirus symptoms, please do not attend A&E. The best thing you can do is rest, and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration.”

People worried about prolonged symptoms should contact NHS 111 or ring their GP, not visit their surgery.