Hospital bosses are battling to contain an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

Two wards have been closed at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after patients fell ill with suspected norovirus.

Bailey ward was closed on Friday (November 16) after five patients developed diarrhoea and vomiting and Bristol ward stopped taking in new admissions yesterday after another five cases emerged.

The latest cases come after bosses were forced to close Vallance ward at the Royal Sussex last week when 12 patients were struck down.

The ward reopened yesterday (November 19) after it was thoroughly cleaned and all patients on it were symptom-free.

Cases of norovirus are increasingly common at this time of year both in the community and in locations such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Bosses at the Royal Sussex are urging anyone with symptoms not to visit until they have not shown any signs of the virus for 48 hours.

This is the busiest time of year for hospitals and closing wards can have a knock-on effect on other departments because it means fewer beds are available.

Patients may face longer waits in accident and emergency until a space can be found for them or may even have planned operations cancelled.

The Royal Sussex has strict infection control measures in place.

Visitors are asked to regularly wash their hands and use the alcohol hand gel dispensers at the entrance to all wards.

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