Dec 16

Norovirus Outbreak

Posted by admin

An article in the Daily Express on 16th December 2008 has highlighted the dangers of millions of people being ill with the winter vomiting bug Norovirus.

Many hospital wards have had to close to any new patients with a leading London hospital having to turn away emergency calls due to being overwhelmed with the virus.

As we near Christmas and the New Year we risk a higher level of infection rates than at other times. With Christmas celebrations and large numbers of families meeting up with relatives the risks are worse than at other times. Hospitals could reach breaking point. Christmas and New Year are traditionally very busy times for hospitals. The recent cold weather and the threat of colds, flu and norovirus are particularly dangerous for the elderly, children, and those who are already ill.

The report goes on to quote several instances of near crisis in some hospitals with no available beds and a spate of ward closures. At least 21 hospitals have had to isolate patients. Worst affected appears to have been the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital which had to close all its 49 wards due to the virus. The full detail of the Daily Express report can be seen at www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/75741

West Midlands company Chemex have a product called Antibak which is effective against Norovirus and which has already given the NHS a powerful weapon to combat a full range of superbugs. The Antibak powder was recently used successfully in Berkshire where eight wards were closed due to the Norovirus outbreak. Antibak was used in the afternoon and by the evening tests showed the wards to be completely clear.

In Lincolnshire at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston a ward which had been closed for a long period was re-opened by using the Antibak product.

More recently Antibak has been used extensively in the deep cleaning of ambulances.

One Response to “Norovirus Outbreak”

  1. Norovirus Sufferer Says:

    I suffered from this last year and my Aunt was very ill recently as a result of the same virus which she caught just after coming out of hospital for a knee operation.

    How is it then that hospital wards can remain closed if there are suitable products available in the market place that can re-open wards with speed and efficiency? The problem would appear to lie with the decision making processes in the NHS. Private organisations are able to react with speed but only a few individual NHS Trusts seem to be capable of making immediate decisions or even taking the time to investigate alternative methods of containment or cleansing of closed wards.

    Perhaps in time this will change. For the immediate future it seems we must become accustomed to ward closures and outbreaks of Norovirus until such a time as an effective cleaning and hygiene process is adopted as standard practice throughout the UK.

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