PATIENTS and visitors have been urged to help stop Norovirus scares at Hinchingbrooke Hospital after a weekend outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

A spokesman for Circle Health, which runs the site, confirmed that some bays were shut in the hospital's Juniper ward over November 17 and 18 to isolate the infection.

After a review, the infection control team found that only one bay needed to remain shut but the entire ward was deep cleaned before it was reopened.

"To prevent the spread of the virus to other areas of the hospital, all our wards are divided into bays, which are rooms with a small number of beds, as oppose to long 'Florence Nightingale' style wards," the spokesman said.

"Bays allow us to isolate infection as their doors can be shut to quarantine affected patients."

Visitors have now been reduced to one person per patients in a bid to protect vulnerable patients from picking up the bug, causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

The spokesman said: "There is a problem with Norovirus.

"If you are visiting patients on the wards, please ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water before entering the ward, after contact with a patient and on leaving the ward."

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK and affects people of all ages.

It usually lasts only a couple of days but has no specific cure, meaning people just have to let the illness run its course.

It is highly contagious and is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands.