West Middlesex hospital is gearing up for a norovirus outbreak after the bug swept across hospitals last Christmas forcing many wards to close.
Patients heading to West Middlesex Hospital with a dodgy tummy this year will find themselves taken to one side and isolated to reduce the risk of a norovirus outbreak, also known as 'winter-vomiting disease'.
Among those affected was St Peter's Hospital, in Chertsey, which was forced to close two wards in mid-December after 50 patients and 12 members of staff were struck down.
This year West Mid, in Isleworth, is hoping to repeat its success of last year and avoid any major epidemics of the disease, which causes projectile vomiting and diarrhoea.
Director of infection prevention and control May Kyi said: "We are fortunate to have not suffered any severe outbreaks of norovirus at the hospital.
"Any patients admitted with vomiting and diarrhoea are isolated in one of our side rooms and screened for norovirus.
"Although it is unpleasant, most people recover quickly and the best advice is to rest at home and drink plenty of fluids. Unless the diarrhoea and vomiting are very severe, our advice is that you should not visit your GP surgery or hospital Accident and Emergency unit."
The symptoms of norovirus, which affects people of all ages, usually last from 12 to 60 hours and often start with the sudden onset of nausea.
Most people recover very quickly but immunity is short-lived and it is easily transmitted from one person to another. It thrives in semi-closed environments where large numbers of people congregate, so schools, nursing homes and hospitals are most affected.
Good hygiene at home, particularly hand-washing, will help prevent transmission to other family members.