Gastroenteritis case closes Southland hospital ward to visitors

Visits to medical and surgical wards are suspended.

Robin Eadie/stuff

Visits to medical and surgical wards are suspended.

Several cases of gastroenteritis at Southland Hospital have forced the temporary closure of medical and surgical wards.

General manager Simon Donlevy said the move was to protect patients from the highly contagious disease.

Compassionate visits can be discussed with the Nurse Manager.

Gastroenteritis can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

“If you have symptoms of gastroenteritis, please do not visit your loved ones in the hospital,” Donleavy said.

It is also important to stay home and away from work, school or day care until 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea.

To reduce the risk of contracting or spreading gastroenteritis, people should wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.

If symptoms require medical help, people should contact their GP or pharmacist. If it is an emergency, please call 111 or go to the hospital emergency department.

Donleavy said there was no evidence the cases were linked to the current Cryptosporidium outbreak in Queenstown.

We will provide an update once the wards are open to visitors again.

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