Norovirus outbreak at Western Isles Hospital

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Restricted visiting measures have been implemented at Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, as a result of an outbreak of norovirus.

Visitors planning to visit Medical Ward 1 and Surgical Ward should telephone the ward and talk with the Nurse in charge before visiting.

Visiting hours will be restricted to between 3pm and 4pm and 7pm and 8pm in all other areas.

Visitors to hospitals in the Western Isles are specifically being asked to wash their hands with soap and water before and after visiting, and to avoid visiting if they have experienced any norovirus symptoms (until at least 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea).

Norovirus is usually self-limiting and will disappear after a day or two (though you can remain infectious for at least three days, after symptoms resolve). Symptoms commonly include:

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea

Stomach cramps

Low-grade fever and/or chills

Headache and muscle aches


To minimise the spread of norovirus:

Wash your hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet – consider keeping separate towels to minimise the risk of cross-infection in the home.

Hand washing with soap and water, not just using the alcohol gels, is important

Similarly clean and wash down any surfaces that have been contaminated with a bleach-based disinfectant. Take care to ensure that the disinfectant is used safely and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Don’t prepare food for other people as you may contaminate the food.

Additionally those with symptoms should

Drink plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated.

Stay at home if possible until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Especially do not visit hospitals, nurseries or nursing homes if affected

For further information, contact Infection Control or visit