LAUNCESTON General Hospital staff have urged people with gastroenteritis symptoms to stay away.
LGH clinical services' director Peter Renshaw yesterday called on people who had diarrhoea or vomiting recently or who had been in close contact with someone who had, not to visit patients.
Three patients at the LGH emergency department yesterday were confirmed as having the bug and another 12 people presented at accident and emergency with symptoms.
Dr Renshaw said that the LGH also had a large number of staff on sick leave with the same symptoms.
"It is important that the public is vigilant and maintains strict hand hygiene measures and not share personal items," Dr Renshaw said.
"Anyone with gastro should stay away from their workplace and should not prepare food for others for at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped," he said.
LGH chief executive John Kirwan said that accident and emergency staff had coped with an unusually large number of patients presenting over the Christmas-new year period.
"The LGH has not seen a drop off in numbers as might be expected with people going away for holidays," Mr Kirwan said.
"Overall emergency department presentations have continued to show a steady increase in numbers, activity and the number requiring admission."