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Hygeine warning over bug in hospitals

Hospital visitors have been warned to take extra care with hygiene - and stay away if they have just been ill.

12 December 2012

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has called for members of the public to ensure they follow hygiene rules when visiting hospital, to avoid unwittingly spreading the norovirus winter vomiting bug.

Discussing the risks of the infection, which rise markedly in winter, the HPSC said: "Members of the public can help stop the spread of illness by respecting hospital and nursing home visitor restrictions and by using the alcohol gel supplied as they enter and leave the facilities."

It added that anyone who had been ill with the bug themselves in the previous 48 hours should steer clear of hospitals and noted that handwashing was particularly important for those who have been sick.

Safety gloves may prove particularly useful for hospitals and doctor surgeries to ensure medical staff are not incubating viruses on their own hands.

A study by Health and Safety Agency inspectors earlier this year found that only 69 per cent of hospital doctors it observed in July washed their hands between seeing each patient.

However, this was an improvement on the 2011 figure of 61 per cent.

Posted by Charlotte York

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