THE number of norovirus cases at St Mary's Hospital has decreased significantly, Isle of Wight health chiefs announced today (Monday).
Following an outbreak of the bug two weeks ago, which led to the cancelling of operations and closure of several wards, there are now just ten patients suffering from sickness and diarrhoea.
However, visiting restrictions will remain in place until at least the end of this week.
Alan Sheward, executive director of nursing and director of infection prevention and control, said: "I would like to thank our staff at the hospital who have gone above and beyond to battle this particularly nasty virus.
"Since the outbreak started, a number of extra measures have been put in place to control the spread of the illness, such as restricting the movement of patients and staff within the hospital, employing 'barrier nursing’ to treat patients in isolation and prevent the spread of infection and additional steam and deep cleaning.
"I am also grateful to the public who are now heeding the message to stay away from the site, in order to prevent further cases being brought into the hospital.
"Although the number of cases is reducing day by day, and we have contained the situation, we are not complacent about this very virulent illness and the need to maintain strict controls. We will be in a position to review the restrictions towards the end of the week."
Visiting remains restricted to essential visits only, and all visits must be agreed in advance with the ward manager.
Access to the hospital remains restricted to the main entrance and patients attending the emergency department or Beacon Health Centre should only be accompanied by one other person.
Anyone who has experienced norovirus symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, must not visit the hospital until they have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours.
Day surgery, outpatient appointments and clinics remain unaffected and patients should attend as normal.