Hospital visitors are being urged to take extra care to protect patients following a norovirus outbreak.

Dorset County Hospital (DCH) is "aware that norovirus is currently circulating in the community" and has asked the public to help it minimise the spread of infection.

Norovirus, also called the 'winter vomiting bug', is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea and can spread easily.

Visitors who have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting are warned to stay away from the hospital until they have been clear of symptoms for 72 hours.

Anyone with these symptoms who is due for a hospital appointment is urged to call the number on their appointment letter to rearrange.

The NHS says norovirus can be very unpleasant, but it usually goes away in about two days.

The main symptoms of norovirus are:

  • nausea
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting

You may also have:

  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • a headache
  • aching arms and legs