17 Jan 2010

Sick staff told to stay away from hospital

2:20 pm on 17 January 2010

Fifteen staff at Thames hospital who are sick after an outbreak of norovirus, have been told to stay away from work to stop the bug spreading further.

Norovirus is highly contagious. The outbreak was confirmed on Friday.

Waikato District Health Board says four patients and 15 staff have caught the bug since Wednesday. However, two patients have recovered.

The DHB says the patients are in isolation and hospital staff are constantly cleaning the isolated areas to kill the virus.

The board says norovirus outbreaks are not unusual in summer when people tend to relax their hygiene standards.

Separately three patients are in isolation in Whangarei Hospital after a suspected norovirus outbreak in Ward 14.

A Whangarei District Health Board spokesperson says they are waiting on test results to confirm the presence of a norovirus but the outbreak has been contained to the ward.

They say Ward 14 is closed to new admissions and infection control measures are in place.