An outbreak of gastroenteritis at Maitland Hospital has been contained with infection control measures stopping the spread of the illness.
The outbreak started earlier this week with a number of people being treated at the hospital.
“The hospital immediately notified the public health unit and implemented infection control measures, including isolating the patients and heightened hygiene precautions,” Maitland Hospital general manager Trish Wilson said.
“A handful of patients remain in the hospital but all are stable and recovering. A number were discharged on Wednesday and the outbreak is under control.”
Last week Dungog Hospital stopped accepting new admissions or transferring patients for a short period following an outbreak of the virus.
A number of staff and patients at the hospital contracted gastroenteritis and strict infection control measures were put in place to minimise the chance of it spreading.
Hunter New England Health health protection acting director Peter Massey said winter was the peak season for gastroenteritis.
“The best way to avoid viral gastroenteritis is by washing hands thoroughly with soap and running water before handling and eating food. It is also important to always wash hands after using the toilet,” Mr Massey said.
He said alcohol-based hand gel was an effective alternative if soap and water were not readily available.
Symptoms of viral gastro can include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and loss of appetite and usually last between one and three days but can persist for longer, and lead to dehydration.
Signs of dehydration include passing less urine than usual, increased thirst and dry mouth, sunken eyes, tiredness, irritability and deep breathing.
“It’s important to remember that babies can become dehydrated very quickly with gastro,” Mr Massey said.
“A baby less than six months old who had gastro should be taken to a GP or local emergency department immediately. Anyone with gastro symptoms should avoid visiting places like hospitals, aged care homes and child care facilities. School children with gastro should stay home until they are recovered and symptom free.”