Second case of infectious virus with more showing symptoms

A SECOND case of a highly infectious virus has been confirmed at Ipswich Hospital with more people showing symptoms.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service has this morning confirmed two more people are being treated for symptoms of norovirus, while a second case has been confirmed.

It comes after Ipswich Hospital authorities issued a statement yesterday confirming the outbreak of norovirus, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

Now nine people at the hospital are believed to be affected by the virus.

The hospital has been working since yesterday to contain the highly contagious infection and asked people not to come to the hospital emergency department, unless absolutely necessary.

That request appears to have been heard with 178 patients through the doors last night, down on the average.

There were no delays in treatment, the hospital says, which was flagged as a possibility while staff dealt with the outbreak.

Measures to stem the spread of the virus are still in place.

Yesterday, Ipswich Hospital executive director Luke Worth said a temporary halt had been placed on admissions to two wards at the hospital while cleaning and disinfecting was carried out.

"We are taking a range of steps to make sure that we keep the spread of the virus under control as far as possible," Mr Worth said.

"These include a temporary halt on new admissions to two wards to conduct the required cleaning and disinfecting regimes. We are also restricting the movement of patients between wards where possible.

"These precautions will remain in place until we see a reduction in the number of patients exhibiting Norovirus symptoms - usually within 48 to 72 hours.

"Norovirus is very transmissible, affects all ages, and lives in the environment, so despite these steps, further cases may occur."

According to Queensland Health the norovirus can be transmitted by touching surfaces or through direct or indirect contact with another person who is infected.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramping.  The illness generally lasts for up to two days.

People can decrease their chance of coming into contact with norovirus by frequently washing their hands and disinfecting surfaces, particularly in shared spaces.

If you are concerned that you may have contracted norovirus, more information is available from general practitioners and community health centres or by contacting 13HEALTH. 

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