YORK Hospital has continued to be affected by the winter vomiting bug, after the virus had loosened its grip at the end of last month.

The hospital said yesterday seven wards were partially-shut because of suspected norovirus.

That meant patients were not admitted to the closed areas, and visitors were not allowed in them.

Hospital bosses stressed that, due to the nature of the virus, the number of areas affected was changing all the time.

They said that, since the end of last month, the hospital had a spell where no areas were closed, but that it had started to see cases again over the last couple of weeks.

A spokesperson for York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The hospital currently has some areas affected by suspected norovirus, as is the case for many other hospitals.”

We reported last month how, over the Christmas period, only two bays at the hospital had to be closed because of the effects of the bug, which leads to violent bouts of sickness and diarrhoea.

Last winter the virus put a huge strain on the Wigginton Road site’s operation when it refused to release its grip for six months. The return of the norovirus led to health chiefs asking visitors to help prevent it spreading to staff and patients – and today they reiterated that plea.

“We need visitors to help us keep the spread of infection to a minimum by staying away if they have signs or symptoms of the virus (i.e. vomiting or diarrhoea) and not visiting until they have been clear of symptoms for at least 48 hours,” the spokesperson said. “They should keep their hands clean, and avoid bringing children into the hospital where possible. They can call the hospital before visiting to find out if a particular ward is closed, and we ask them to respect the fact that if a ward is closed, then visitors are not permitted unless there are special circumstances.”