Virus forces hospitals to close wards

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By Andrea McCallum

A VIRUS outbreak has forced two Scottish hospitals to close nearly 10 wards after both staff and patients were infected.

Queen Margaret Hospital and Lynebank Hospital – both in Dunfermline – have closed some wards to new admissions.

And a total of 14 patients and 12 staff across the wards have shown symptoms of the norovirus.

Five wards at Queen Margaret Hospital five have been shut and two at Lynebank Hospital.

NHS Fife said the full infection control precautions were in place and the situation was being monitored daily.

A NHS Fife spokeswoman said: “Norovirus can have a major impact on hospital services during the winter, and members of the public and visitors can help avoid this.

“Hospital visitors are asked to be particularly vigilant and to stay away if they, or someone they live with, are feeling unwell.”

The infection comes just days after Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary closed after a similar virus hit 24 people.

Ward 18 – which specialises in treating the elderly – was shut for the fourth time in four months due to the winter vomiting bug.

Similar action was taken during three previous outbreaks at the hospital since October last year.

Noroviruses are easily transmitted and can cause projectile vomiting and diarrhoea with symptoms usually lasting from 12 to 60 hours.

In the UK it affects between 600,000 and 1 million people every year.

NFS Fife were unable to provide and up-to-date comment and said the infection control team were stuck in meetings.

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