Information about outbreaks of the winter vomiting bug - norovirus - in Scotland's hospitals is now being published weekly online, starting today.
The information published today, by Health Protection Scotland, shows that on Monday 18 January:
- 10 NHS boards reported norovirus activity
- 53 wards in 21 hospitals were closed to new admissions
- 383 patients and 128 staff were affected
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
"Norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug, is a common virus and, as the name suggests, circulates every winter. Many parts of Scotland are currently experiencing outbreaks but there is no indication that this year is significantly worse than previous years.
"The number of ward closures is currently higher than the same time last year but around the same as the previous winter.
"Although norovirus is highly contagious and unpleasant, fortunately the vast majority of people make a full recovery with no complications. Everyone can do their bit to prevent the spread of the virus by following good hand hygiene procedures.
"Across Scotland, health boards prepare for the annual onset of norovirus and the potential closure of wards that may result, and alert patients and the public to ward closures through local news releases.
"The Scottish Government and health boards will continue to monitor norovirus outbreaks closely, taking every step to minimise its impact on both those who use and work in our hospitals."
The norovirus information will be updated weekly.
Revised guidance on handling norovirus outbreaks was issued in December by Health Protection Scotland.