Published Wed, 2011-02-16 11:46; updated 1 year ago.

Walsall Manor Hospital has re-opened nearly all of its wards to visitors more than a week after an outbreak of Norovirus.

Visiting restrictions were lifted on February 16 to all but wards four, seven, nine and 15 as these still had some patients affected with the stomach virus, which led to the closure of the hospital on February 8.

But three of these wards were also able to re-allow visitors on February 18, leaving just ward four with restrictions.

Amir Khan, medical director at Walsall Manor Hospital, said: “There are currently 11 symptomatic patients affected by the outbreak of the virus but as we are seeing an overall reduction in the number of new cases, this means we are now in a position to safely re-open the rest of the hospital to visitors."

He said the early action which they took to close the hospital to all visitors to patients had enabled them to contain the spread of the infection to just a few wards. 

Norovirus is currently spreading through the local community, so to prevent the virus from being re-introduced to the hospital, Walsall Manor is urging any visitors to patients on any of the hospital wards to stay away if they are, or have been, recently affected by vomiting and diarrhoea.

If members of the public have been with a friend or family member who has shown either of the symptoms, the hospital is requesting that visitors do not come into hospital and stay away from others as much as possible.

Added Mr Khan: "Washing or cleansing your hands is such a simple task but it can make a huge contribution to preventing and reducing the spread of infections like Norovirus.

"All ward based staff are trained in infection control techniques and are continually made aware of their responsibilities, but raising awareness among patients and their families who come to visit is much more challenging."

Michael Scott, Walsall Manor's interim chief executive, said: "I would like to once again offer my thanks to the public for their support and patience whilst the total visiting restriction was in place.

"It really helped to contain the virus on those wards that were affected and protect the health of all our patients, their relatives,carers and their friends."