VISITORS to two wards at Borders General Hospital are being urged to stay away following a norovirus outbreak.

Relatives and friends of those in wards four and 12 have been discouraged from visiting after patients have been experiencing symptoms such as sickness and diarrhoea.

Dr Tim Patterson, joint director of public health: "Norovirus is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea and vomiting illness. It is very infectious and spreads quickly between people. 

"This is why outbreaks happen in hospitals where a number of people are sharing facilities. 

"However it doesn’t just occur in hospitals, and can start abruptly and spread quickly through communities.

"Action by patients, visitors and staff can help support us to deliver safe patient care and minimise the impact of a potential norovirus outbreak, and we are urging visitors to comply with any instructions you are given by staff or signs that you see at the entrances to wards. 

"This is vital to protect yourselves and your loved ones from catching this unpleasant virus, particularly as your friends or family members currently in hospital may be more vulnerable to the virus than usual.

"Thank you for your co-operation."

NHS Borders has also warned visitors to stay away from any hospital ward if they or anyone in thier family has experienced symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the past 48 hours.

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