A NEWLY-APPOINTED infection expert has called on the public to help keep the winter vomiting bug out of the borough’s hospital wards.
Dr Ian Hosein, the country’s first director of infection prevention and control, is working with staff at King George Hospital to prevent the spread of norovirus.
The highly contagious bug, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, is more common in winter and can be brought into hospitals by visitors.
Dr Hosein said: “Helping us to defeat the winter vomiting virus means that we will have as many hospital beds available as possible, and we will be better able to care for those who need our help.
“Our staff are being optimally trained to prevent, contain and ultimately defeat this threat.
“But, we do need the help of the wider public. They could bring the virus into a hospital with them if they have recently been ill, or bring in contaminated food items.”
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is asking the public to consider food hygiene and think carefully about how to prepare food and where to eat.
Hospital visitors should not bring food for relatives, unless pre-wrapped and from a recognised source, should wash hands on arrival and should use the alcohol gel provided on wards frequently.
People suffering vomiting or diarrhoea should avoid visiting hospital. The virus can be passed on even after a sufferer feels better, so visitors should not come to see relatives until at least two days after they feel better.