PATIENTS at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital have been struck with the winter vomiting disease, Norovirus.
Five wards at the hospital are closed so far, and they are all elderly medical wards.
Visitors are banned from wards except for where the patient is critically ill, for example in the Intensive Care Unit.
An L&D spokesperson said: “The L&D has several cases of winter vomiting disease (norovirus). In order to protect our patients, and members of the public, we are closing hospital wards to all visitors (with some exceptions).
“Additionally we are asking the public only to come to A&E if it is a real emergency, and if people do need to come to A&E please don’t bring the whole family - just one person to accompany the patient.
“These measures are necessary to protect our patients and public from the highly contagious norovirus which causes projectile vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhoea.”
The ban on visitors is expected to last for 24-48 hours.
The spokesperson said if members of the public think they may have winter vomiting disease, they should not go to A&E as there is no treatment for this virus, it needs to run its course over two or three days.
The best advice is stay indoors, isolate yourself from other people and drink lots of water to keep rehydrated.
For further advice call NHS Direct 0845 4647.