VISITORS to University Hospital Llandough are being urged to stay home if they have sickness or diarrhoea to help prevent the spread of the winter vomiting bug.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is asking visitors and members of the public to be responsible visitors and help it safeguard already sick patients by staying away from its hospitals if they have symptoms of the bug.

Currently, a number of inpatients at the UHB’s main hospitals at University Hospital Llandough and the University Hospital of Wales are suffering from the winter vomiting bug, which spreads quickly from person to person, and can make more acutely ill or vulnerable patients extremely unwell.

Dr Eleri Davies, the UHB’s Director of Infection Control, said that the winter vomiting bug is common in the community at this time of year, but can cause real problems when it finds its way into hospitals.

“We know that having diarrhoea and vomiting is not pleasant for anyone and it can make you feel really unwell.

“But, for normal healthy adults, it’s usually a case of drinking plenty of fluids and resting until the symptoms pass, which they generally do within a couple of days.

“However, when already very unwell patients contract winter vomiting bug, it can make them extremely poorly, as well as having an impact on the way we use our hospital beds for those patients due to come into hospital for pre-planned procedures.

“We realise that people think ‘oh, I feel better now’, and will want to come in to visit friends and relatives who are inpatients, or attend their outpatient appointment but, to be sure that you do not pass on the bug you should delay visiting for at least 48 hours and preferably 72 hours after your last symptoms. Be a responsible visitor is essentially what we are asking.”

Patients who have a scheduled outpatient appointment and have recently had diarrhoea or vomiting are asked to telephone the clinic number at the top of their appointment letter for advice.

Anyone who still has diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not attend their appointment and should call the number at the top of the appointment letter to let the UHB know that they cannot attend, so that a new appointment can be sent and, where possible, the original appointment slot used for somebody else.

Patients who are due to be admitted for planned treatment should contact the department numbers given on their admission letters for further advice if they have symptoms or recently had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

Find out more about how to manage the symptoms and what to do by checking out the help that’s available on the NHS Direct website or the NHS Choices website