A Midland hospital has been closed to all visitors after an outbreak of the deadly norovirus bug.

Health bosses at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have banned families from visiting patients in more than 20 wards after the virus was detected on Friday.

Ten patients have fallen ill due to the virus, which is traditionally known as winter vomiting disease, and two staff have been sent home after they were diagnosed with the bug as well. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea.

Doctors are isolating infected patients to prevent the bug spreading further.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Norovirus is a virus which is easily transmitted from one person to another. It is present in the community and a few cases have now been identified on wards at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“Because of its highly contagious nature and in order to protect vulnerable patients and avoid the spread of the infection, we have decided to implement a ban on visiting to all wards at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“We acknowledge that this may cause some difficulty but appreciate the support of families and visitors in helping us to contain the outbreak. We have cancelled some fHospital closed to visitors after 10 patients go down with deadly norovirus bug elective surgery.”

People with outpatient appointments can still attend as long as they are well or have been free of vomiting and diarrhoea for more than 48 hours.

In September, 14 wards were closed across the county’s three main hospitals – the Alexandra in Redditch, the Kidderminster Minor Injuries Unit and Worcestershire Royal.

The Kidderminster and Redditch have not been affected by the latest outbreak, although matrons are monitoring the situation daily.

The spokeswoman added: “We are now in the process of isolating patients who have been affected and nursing them together, away from patients who have not been affected.

“We are keen to act promptly and sensibly and put into effect procedures after the lessons we learnt earlier this year.”