Hospital clear of bug outbreak

The in-patient ward at Clutha Health First has returned to full operational duties and was open to new admissions as of yesterday, following an outbreak of a stomach bug.

The hospital's chief executive, Ray Anton, described it as a relapse of viral gastroenteritis, and test results have now confirmed it was norovirus.

"We have received official results and can confirm that the organism has been identified as norovirus, and the measures implemented over the course of this outbreak have contained and protected non affected patients and staff," Anton said.

Earlier this month, eight nurses were off work at one point forcing the ward to close to new patients.

Test results later showed that outbreak was also norovirus, Anton said.

No staff had been struck down during this latest outbreak, and as of Wednesday morning no new cases had been identified for 72 hours, he said.

"We are confident the situation is now resolved."

Visitors to the facility were still asked to adhere to the instructions issued by ward's medical staff and to use the hand gel stations on arriving and departing our facility, he said.

"We also encourage those patients in the community who have been sick with vomiting or diarrhoea - or have a family member who is, or has been sick, to stay away from the facility until they are asymptomatic for at least 72 hours."

The maternity ward and other departments at Clutha Health First were unaffected by any of the outbreaks.

The Southland Times