HOSPITAL wards that were closed last week after an outbreak of norovirus have now reopened.

Three wards at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton, closed to new arrivals after patients were struck down with diarrhoea and vomiting.

The hospital is still urging people with the symptoms of norovirus to stay away.

A warning for anyone who has had symptoms of the bug in the last 48 hours were on the hospital’s website and a recorded message was also included on its phone-lines.

The virus typically breaks out during the winter and the latest infection was the first since January.

A spokesman from the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed all the closed wards have now reopened after the routine closure period.

Wards are kept under observation and closed to new admissions when an outbreak is detected. When the areas are believed to be clear of norovirus they are deep-cleaned before they are reopened.

Last Wednesday the hospital's Acute Medical Unit (AMU), where patients are assessed, was closed to new admissions when there was an outbreak.

The short-stay Chichester ward and the Vallance ward that specialises in elderly care, which are both in the Barry Building, were then closed after patients from the AMU were moved to those wards.

The AMU was opened on Friday and the Vallance and Chichester ward were reopened over the weekend.

Between April 2012 and April last year, hospitals run by the trust dealt with 37 outbreaks of the highly-infectious virus.

A total of 341 patients staying at sites run by the trust had fallen ill with suspected norovirus and another 78 members of staff also caught the virus over the same period.