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Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Moves Quickly to Prevent Spread of Sickness Virus

Management at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, has moved quickly to control and prevent the spread of a sickness virus, which emerged early last week.

The most likely cause of this is the small round structured virus (SRSV), which is a frequent cause of diarrhoea and sickness in the community and is present in most other hospitals across Scotland. It is most common during the winter and sometimes called "winter vomiting disease". This kind of viral infection causes symptoms of gastric flu and lasts 2 to 3 days. It is usually not serious and people recover very quickly.

Around 50 patients and 50 staff have been affected.  Most of these have fully recovered already and only 10 patients are currently symptomatic now. Precautions have been taken and measures put in place to prevent the spread of the sickness virus, which has mainly affected some of the medical wards.

Dr Andrew Hay, Consultant Microbiologist and Head of Control of Infection at Raigmore advises:
"I would like to stress that this type of virus is commonplace in the community, is not in itself serious and people recover very rapidly. However, such outbreaks can be very disruptive to normal hospital working and preventing the spread of infection to other areas is very important. Isolation of symptomatic individuals, avoidance of unnecessary patient movement, rigorous hand-washing and cleaning are all simple, but effective measures, which help to stop the spread of infection."

Dr Alison Graham, Medical Director says:
"We are making special provision to admit all new patients to other wards and areas, so as to limit the risk of the infection spreading. The measures, which we have taken, seem to be limiting the spread now and I am hopeful that we will see the virus dying down in the next few days.

I would like to thank all staff for their hard work and co-operation in helping to cover staff sickness and in particular, the control of infection team and the cleaning staff who are doing a sterling job."