Clinicians ask people not to go to A&E if they’re experiencing diarrhoea or vomiting

Clinicians at the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging the public to help prevent the spread of the highly contagious diarrhoea and vomiting bug, Norovirus.


Over recent days, there have been some cases confirmed by health professionals at Colchester Hospital. They’re now asking the public for their help to stop the spread of the winter bug by staying away from the hospital, where possible, if they’ve had any diarrhoea or vomiting symptoms.  If you do have to visit hospital wards, please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water and use the alcohol-based hand rub that is available at the entrance to hospital wards.


In addition, clinicians are asking people to follow the below advice:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water. If you are in an NHS facility as well as washing your hands you should use the hand gels available.
  • Ensure that toilet areas in your home are kept clean, particularly if you have been experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Wash any clothing or linen that could be contaminated with norovirus.
  • Disinfect any hard surfaces that could be contaminated (this includes toilet door handles, sinks and taps).
  • Stay away from hospitals, work, school or social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.


Dr Hasan Chowhan, Chairman of the CCG, said: “Sickness bugs are very common at this time of year but they can usually be treated effectively at home with plenty of rest.  A&E is not the right place to go if you have sickness and diarrhoea as it needs to be kept free for those people who need emergency, life-saving treatment.


“At the moment, our colleagues at Colchester Hospital are reporting that there are people who are going to A&E or other hospital departments with diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms.  This is having a negative impact on the services they are able to provide to those individuals needing life-saving treatment.


"If you are experiencing these symptoms, we would really appreciate it if you stayed at home, keep hydrated and stay warm.  You will find that the symptoms should pass within 24 to 48 hours.  In addition, please continue to wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water and make sure you have plenty of rest. You would also need to stay away from work, hospitals or social gatherings for at least 48 hours.”


Clinicians are also reminding people not to attend A&E departments unless experiencing a genuine accident or emergency such as broken bones, heavy blood loss, chest pains or unconsciousness.


People experiencing minor illnesses or feeling under the weather should seek early advice from their local pharmacist. If you need medical help but it is not a 999 emergency, call NHS111 – a free telephone advice service, which is open 24/7.



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