Uist and Barra Hospital re-opens to visitors

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The Uist and Barra Hospital ward in Benbecula reopens to visitors today (Thursday, December 5th).

The ward had been closed since November 26th due to an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Visitors to hospitals and care homes in the Western Isles are 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 (for 48 hours after the last symptom).

Norovirus is usually self-limiting and will settle after a day or two.

Symptoms commonly include:

* Nausea and diarrhoea (with or without vomiting)

* Stomach cramps

* Low-grade fever and/or chills

* Headache and muscle aches

* Fatigue.

NHS Western Isles has issued the following general health advice to minimise the spread of Norovirus:

· Wash your hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet

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

· As norovirus can be droplet spread, make sure any surfaces that have been contaminated are cleaned with a bleach-based disinfectant; this includes toilet seats, handles and taps and surrounding surfaces.

Take care to ensure that the disinfectant is used safely and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.