FOUR hospital wards in Bradford are now affected by norovirus bug, health chiefs have revealed.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has shut two intermediate care wards at St Luke’s Hospital, a ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary and one at Westwood Park Community Hospital to new admissions due to suspected viral gastroenteritis.

A ward at Westbourne Green Community Hospital which was closed last week has now re-opened.

The Trust is re-appealing to hospital visitors to help keep its wards free of diarrhoea and vomiting this autumn and winter.

It is reminding people to take extra care with hand hygiene when entering and leaving wards and departments by either washing their hands or using hand gel provided at entrances and exits.

People are also being asked to reduce the spread of these infections by not coming into hospitals to visit relatives and friends when they themselves are unwell.

Anyone suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea should stay away from visiting the hospital until at least 48 hours after the end of their symptoms.

More than 1,400 Trust staff, that is 24 per cent of the total workforce, have been vaccinated so far against seasonal flu to avoid staff sickness, which can place extra pressure on services.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “It’s important for health professionals to get their flu jab; this helps to prevent a serious flu outbreak at our hospitals and in the local community.

“By having the flu jab staff are making sure they are able to provide the best care to their patients, during our busiest season, while at the same time avoiding staff sickness, which adds additional pressure to the services we provide over winter.”

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is also staying vigilant.

The Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Stacey Hunter said: “At the moment we have no wards closed due to Norovirus, however we continue to be vigilant and have measures in place to contain the virus should it appear.”

She added: “Members of the public can help us by not visiting hospital if they have symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting, to avoid spreading the virus - particularly to vulnerable people. The best thing you can do to protect your loved ones is to delay any visits until you are fully recovered.”