A HOSPITAL has been put on red alert with a virulent stomach bug leading to operations being postponed and nurses being redeployed as staff are struck down by the virus.

Health bosses said York Hospital was struggling to cope under the pressure of the outbreak, and had triggered its red alert status as the vomiting bug spread to ten wards.

Director of operations Mandy McGale said: “Red alert status means that the hospital is under significant operational pressure which triggers our contingency plans to be initiated.

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“This includes redeploying staff when necessary and rescheduling non-urgent planned procedures and operations.

“There are a lot of staff within the hospital who are qualified nurses whose role is not usually ward-based. It is these staff that are being moved to support the wards in delivery of basic nursing care.

Chief nurse Libby McManus said: “We are specifically asking people who have been unwell not to visit the hospital until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.

"This is really important because the virus is highly infectious. The virus is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands.”