The Highlands’ main hospital has been hit by norovirus, forcing the closure of a ward.
Ward 2a at Raigmore is closed to new admissions and people are being urged to keep visits to “an absolute minimum” while staff deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting.
The ward, which closed on Thursday night, has six patients currently affected with symptoms.
Two have tested positive for highly infectious norovirus which is airborne and causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
Consultant microbiologist Dr Chin Lim, said: “By restricting visiting to the affected area it helps hospital staff protect the health, privacy and dignity of our patients.
“We’d also ask that people don’t come to the hospital to visit if they have, or live with someone who has had, any vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48 hours. By doing this we’ll be able to limit the spread as much as possible.”
He added that staff were happy to talk to visitors by phone for updates about their relatives.
There is no specific treatment for a norovirus infection. It is not usually necessary to visit a doctor.
NHS Highland says the best course of action is to remain at home and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Regular hand washing is also a good idea.
The board’s guide – don’t visit a hospital if you or someone you live with has symptoms. If you have a hospital appointment make contact and, where appropriate, the appointment can be rescheduled.
Wait until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours, as you may still be contagious, even if you feel well.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
If you visit someone in hospital do not sit on their bed, and keep the number of visitors to a minimum.
And never touch dressings, drips, or other equipment around the bed.
There is more information online at www.washyourhandsofthem.com