Gastro hits at Scottsdale

THE gastroenteritis bug has hit Scottsdale with those affected being warned to stay away from work and school for at least 48 hours after symptoms stop.

The bug, that is prevalent across the state, has already seen the Launceston General Hospital shut its Ward 6D after an outbreak affected up to nine patients and six staff last week.

The ward was closed on Friday to new admissions and visitors and a review today will determine if it can be re-opened.

A Launceston General Hospital spokeswoman said no further cases of gastro had been reported at the hospital.

Public health director Roscoe Taylor said the outbreak had also affected many people living in Scottsdale.

"I think it seems to be going through the community," he said.

He said the virus wasn't being spread by food or water.

"It seems to be person-to-person type spread."

The Scottsdale Hospital would not comment on the issue.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis typically include diarrhoea, cramps, nausea and vomiting. It can also include fever, headache and muscle pain.

The virus can affect anyone at any time of the year, but usually peaks during winter.

People should ensure they wash their hands after using the bathroom, before and after eating and stay away from others who are ill to stop the bug spreading.

People with severe gastroenteritis symptoms should seek medical attention but are asked to phone the hospital in advance so staff can take necessary precautions.

Launceston's emergency department can be reached via the LGH switchboard on 6348 7111.

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