BASINGSTOKE hospital has been hit by the winter vomiting bug.

Twenty patients are showing symptoms of the Norovirus and have been moved to an isolation ward.

Now the hospital, in Aldermaston Road, has imposed reduced visiting hours and is asking anyone with symptoms to stay clear.

Gina Hanafin, head of communications, said: “We have been aware that Norovirus has been in the local community for a number of weeks and this is now affecting the hospital.”

To reduce the outbreak, visiting has been cut to just one hour in the afternoon, from 2pm to 3pm and one hour in the evening, 6.30 pm to 7.30pm.

Mrs Hanafin added: “We would strongly advise people not to visit the hospital if they are experiencing any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting and that they are completely clear of these for at least 48 hours.”

Norovirus is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis in England and although relatively mild, the illness can occur at any age because immunity to it is not long-lasting.