A CARDIOLOGY ward has been closed to all hospital visitors to stop the spread of a virus which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
Six patients and three members of staff on Ward 42 at the Countess of Chester are showing symptoms of norovirus, also known as winter vomiting virus.
Infection control measures are in place.
A hospital trust spokesman said: “Patient safety is our primary concern, so visiting infectious patients is strictly controlled.
“Visitors who need to visit a critically ill patient should contact the ward manager via the hospital switchboard on 01244 365000 or speak to staff on main reception who will provide assistance.”
Ward 51 was closed to visitors in August due to norovirus and in January four wards were partially closed following an outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) North West is urging people with symptoms of norovirus not to visit their GP surgeries or hospital accident and emergency units.
Symptoms include diarrhoea, projectile vomiting and fever.
Dr Hilary Thurston, a health protection consultant with the HPA’s Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit, said: “Norovirus illness is unpleasant, but it is short-lived.
“People usually recover in anything from 12 to 60 hours without treatment, other than rest and the replacement of fluids.
“It is, however, a highly contagious infection that can spread rapidly when it gets into close-knit communities such as hospitals, residential care homes, schools and workplaces.”