One of the city’s largest hospital trusts has restricted visitors and closed wards to new patients due to a severe outbreak of the norovirus bug.

The highly contagious infection has swept through four wards at Good Hope Hospital, in Sutton Coldfield, forcing them to be closed down to new patients for the coming days.

And Heartlands hospital, which is part of the same trust is also battling the bug, along with Sandwell in West Bromwich and Selly Oak.

One ward at Heartlands Hospital and one at Sandwell, have been shut due to norovirus.

While visitors have also been banned from Ward S6 at Selly Oak Hospital as the ward has seen patients struck with vomiting and diarrhoea and tests are currently taking place to determine if it is norovirus.

Lisa Dunn, hospital director, said: “We currently have one ward at Heartlands and four wards at Good Hope Hospital that are closed for new admissions.

“As a precautionary measure, visiting restrictions apply on all of our wards, across all three of our sites. Please call ahead before you make your journey to any of our hospitals to check what visiting restrictions apply.”

The trust said they would try to see that one visitor was allowed per patient a day.

Limiting visitors should help stop more infections coming into the premises.

Infected areas cannot reopen until 48 hours after the last symptoms have dispersed.

There have already been numerous outbreaks of the illness, which is called the ‘winter vomiting bug’.

Visitors were banned from three Midland hospitals – City Hospital, in Winson Green, Sandwell Hospital and Wolverhampton’s New Cross – last monthin a bid to get the situation under control.

The Health Protection Agency also put out a warning for anyone suffering with the symptoms to avoid going to school, work, hospitals and other communal buildings.

Advice is to remain at home, drink plenty of fluids, wash hands regularly, disinfect toilets and wait until 48 hours after the last bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea have faded before going out.