NHS Highland has placed a temporary suspension on visiting at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to help staff deal with an outbreak of norovirus.
Wards 5C and 6C were closed to new admissions last week due to several patients experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
Ward 7A also closed yesterday and norovirus has been confirmed on all three wards.
The Infection Prevention and Control Team is monitoring the situation and have placed a temporary suspension on all non-essential visiting across the hospital to prevent the spread of the virus.
Dr Adam Brown, NHS Highland’s consultant microbiologist, said: “Staff across NHS Highland are working very hard to reduce the risk of these infections spreading further across the hospital and we continue to appeal for support from the public to help with this.
“We have now put in place a temporary suspension of visiting for all visitors for overall patient safety and to prevent further potential spread throughout the hospital.
“It will help us in respecting our patients’ privacy and dignity at a time when many are experiencing distressing symptoms and will also help in preventing the spread of norovirus to visitors.
“Exceptions will be made for patients receiving end of life care or for those who are critically ill.
“If you feel that visiting is essential please contact the ward first by phone before coming to the hospital. Please do not visit the ward unless by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge.”
If anyone has symptom, or lives with someone with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting, they are being asked refrain from visiting a hospital or care home setting generally until they have been symptom free for 72 hours.
Dr Brown added: “We are grateful for the support staff across all our hospitals in NHS Highland are receiving from the public at the moment and appreciate everyone’s understanding and co-operation at this time.”
The temporary suspension of visiting will be reviewed at the end of this week.