An outbreak of gastroenteritis has hit the maternity ward at Taranaki Base Hospital.
Yesterday, the district health board limited visiting to the ward after several patients and staff fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.
Clinical services manager Leigh Cleland said hospital staff were doing everything they could to prevent the illness spreading further.
"We understand this is very difficult for mothers and their families and, although there may be some disruption, we are doing everything we can to ensure mothers and babies are comfortable," Ms Cleland said.
Partners only are allowed to visit the ward and they may be required to wear appropriate protective clothing.
Although one patient has been placed in isolation, the labour ward is unaffected and women who go into labour will remain in that area.
No new admissions to the post-natal ward may mean that some elective surgery may have to be postponed as bed space is limited.
"We are also asking members of the public that if they have vomiting or diarrhoea or have visited someone with these symptoms, that they do not visit patients in the hospital until they have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours," Ms Cleland said.
Cleaning of the post-natal ward has begun and test samples have been sent to the laboratory to try to determine the nature of the outbreak.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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