The Uist and Barra Hospital ward has been closed after an outbreak of norovirus.

Outpatient clinics at the Benbecula-based hospital are currently unaffected and will continue as normal, but people attending outpatients are asked to not to visit the ward and to stay away if they have been unwell with diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours.

NHS Western Isles have said: "Norovirus (otherwise known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’) is circulating in the community and it is key that members of the public take precautions to help prevent them catching or spreading the infection to others.

"Visitors to hospitals and care homes in the Western Isles are specifically being asked to wash their hands with soap and water before and after visiting, and to avoid visiting if they have experienced any norovirus symptoms (for 48 hours after the last symptom)."

NHS Western Isles Head of Infection Prevention & Control, Janice Mackay said: “Norovirus affects people of all ages.

"The virus is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands.

"As the infection is so contagious, we would urge members of the public to ensure they follow infection control practices, and good hand hygiene is key to preventing the spread of infection.”

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