Hospitals' advice to help beat bug threat in South Wales
HEALTH officials are urging the public to keep taking precautions into the new year to beat off the ongoing threat of norovirus.
Some hospital wards in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend remain out of bounds to visitors and new admissions as the effects of the virus continue to bite.
And ahead of the New Year's Eve celebrations, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABM) is determined to ensure there is no letting up of the health message to the public.
"Norovirus is still causing a number of problems as we close wards to visitors and new admissions to help stop the spread of the virus," said a spokeswoman.
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"As everyone is aware, we don't take these decisions lightly, and would like to thank everyone both in the hospital and community for their support and understanding.
"If you do have sickness and/ or diarrhoea please stay at home, don't go out and about or have friends over, as this helps the virus to spread. You also need to stay home up for at least 48 hours after you last have a symptom as you can still pass the virus on.
"We would like to remind everyone that GP surgeries and local chemists are open as normal on New Year's Eve.
"Unfortunately, people do forget and head straight for the emergency department when it isn't necessary.
"We really hope everyone has a lovely new year and you don't need our help. But if you do need us, please remember to choose the right service for your health needs."
Confirmed cases of the stomach bug in the UK are already up around 70 per cent on last year.
And a lot of colds, flu and other viruses are also doing the rounds.
Dr Sara Hayes, ABM director of public health, reiterated the importance of washing hands regularly with warm water and soap.
"It's always important to wash your hands thoroughly, especially after blowing your nose or going to the toilet and before preparing or eating food," she said.
"If you care for other people, remember to protect them too by washing your hands before and after helping them.
"We are currently seeing a lot more viruses and illness and we want people to have an enjoyable, healthy new year and not spend it being poorly in bed.
"My advice to everyone is to make sure you wash your hands regularly throughout the day with warm water and soap," said Dr Hayes.