BOTH wards at Bridport’s Community Hospital and part of Dorset County Hospital have been closed due to an outbreak of norovirus.

Both Ryeberry and Langdon wards at Bridport Hospital are not admitting patients due to the highly contagious winter vomiting bug.

Jane Turner, Matron at Bridport Community Hospital said: “Both the Ryeberry and Langdon Wards at Bridport Community Hospital are currently closed to admissions due to an outbreak of norovirus.

“This does not affect outpatient or day surgery services at the hospital which are operating as usual.

“The two wards are closed for the safety of our patients and to prevent the spread of the virus.

“They will reopen to admissions once the wards have been deep cleaned by our infection control team.

“We hope to have the Ryeberry Ward back to normal this Thursday and Langdon as quickly as possible after that.

“In the meantime, we are asking family and friends of patients currently staying in our wards to telephone us first before planning a visit.”

A statement from the hospital said that in an issue “unconnected to the current situation”, the hospital’s boiler was faulty for a period of 24 hours before Christmas.

“Before Christmas, the hospital’s boiler was faulty for a period of 24 hours before being quickly fixed by engineers“ said Ms Turner.

Meanwhile a bay on Ilchester Ward has been closed at Dorset County Hospital due to an outbreak.

Staff are hoping it will be re-opened after cleaning by tomorrow.

Hospital chiefs are asking people to stay away if they think they might have symptoms.

A spokesman said: "Our staff are doing everything they can to protect patients from infection but we have had people coming in to the hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting which makes their job more difficult.

"We are asking people not to visit the hospital if they have had diarrhoea or vomiting until they have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours.

"If you have an appointment please call the number on your appointment letter and we can re-arrange it for you."