All wards at the Highlands’ main hospital have now reopened following deep cleaning in the wake of an outbreak of norovirus.
Ward 5c at Raigmore in Inverness was the last of four to reopen.
It had been closed to new admissions and visitors since April 23 as a precaution.
Wards 7C, 2C and 3A had already been brought back into use after a thorough deep clean.
Iona McGauran, interim lead nurse at the hospital, said: “The ward staff and our infection prevention and control team have done an excellent job in keeping this outbreak as contained as much as possible while also ensuring that patients were getting the best possible care.
“Our domestic staff have also played a huge part and have done a sterling job in cleaning which has allowed us to reopen these wards.”
She added: “We appreciate how difficult it is having loved ones in hospital and not being able to visit them and I would like to thank members of the public for their help during this period, particularly when we closed the hospital to all visitors.
“That was not a decision we took lightly and again I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation as to why we took that decision.”
Dr Adam Brown, Consultant Microbiologist for NHS Highland, also thanked everyone for their cooperation during the outbreak, but took the opportunity to remind people to remain vigilant.
He said: “Norovirus is still very active in the community so we would ask that everyone remains vigilant.
“If you, or anyone you live with, has had had any vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48 hours please do not come into the hospital. By doing this we will be able to reduce, as much as we can, the chance of norovirus coming back into the hospital.”
Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, spreads in the air where someone has had diarrhoea or vomited and is extremely infectious.
There is no specific treatment for a norovirus infection and it is not usually necessary to visit a doctor.
NHS Highland says the best course of action is to stay at home, take paracetamol to relieve symptoms of any fever and to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. People should also adhere to strict hand washing techniques to reduce the spread of the virus.