VISITING has been restricted at two hospitals in Worcestershire following an outbreak of norovirus.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is asking members of the public to avoid visiting patients on all wards at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital.

Only essential visits by family members are being allowed in, with a maximum of two visitors per patient.

No one under 16 is being allowed in to avoid risk of the bug spreading to schools, nurseries and playgroups.

The trust’s chief nursing officer Lindsey Webb said: “Norovirus is very common during the winter months.

“We would continue to ask anyone with any symptoms of norovirus infection such as diarrhoea and/or vomiting to stay at home and not come to the hospital until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.

“For advice please telephone your GP or NHS 111 rather than risk transmitting the infection further.”

Last December the trust launched a campaign to keep the virus away from hospitals in the county after Worcestershire Royal Hospital saw a record number of outbreaks the previous winter, placing massive strain on bed capacities and leading to hundreds of operations being cancelled.

There is no specific treatment for norovirus apart from letting it run its course.

It is highly infections, but infection can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, washing hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, avoiding sharing towels and flannels, disinfecting surfaces and not preparing food for others until at least 48 hours of the symptoms subsiding.

Outpatient appointments are being carried out as normal.