A HOSPITAL is continuing to battle an outbreak of a highly infectious bug.

One ward and one bay area at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton remain closed to new admissions following an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea among patients.

Hospital bosses are hoping to reopen Chichester ward at the hospital following an inspection today.

However several patients are still ill in the female bay on Egremont ward.

A hospital spokesman said yesterday there had been no new cases over a 24- hour period.

But staff and visitors are being urged to remain vigilant.

Anyone showing symptoms of the norovirus bug is asked to stay away from the hospital until they are free of infection for at least 48 hours.

Visitors are also asked to wash their hands or use the gel provided on the wards.

All wards affected will be given a deep clean before being fully reopened.

The closures are having a knock-on effect on other hospital departments such as accident and emergency.

Patients are having to wait longer before a bed becomes available on the ward.

Hospital bosses are urging people to only visit A&E if it is a genuine emergency, particularly over the Christmas break.

Alternatives include the walk-in centre near Brighton Station, pharmacists and the NHS 111 service.