Workers evacuated from North Sea platform due to norovirus outbreak

Norovirus: Winter vomiting bug has hit a North Sea rig.

Oil workers have been evacuated from a North Sea platform following an outbreak of norovirus.

Chiefs from Petrofac, who supply staff to the Heather installation which lies east of Shetland, have reduced workforce numbers to a bare minimum.

Three victims have been quarantined in designated rooms in an effort to prevent the virus - also known as the winter vomiting bug - from spreading and infecting others on the Enquest-owned rig.

A Petrofac spokesman said: "We can confirm that there are currently three suspected cases of norovirus on the installation.

"Personnel who have contracted the virus have all been provided with medical support as required and quarantined in designated cabins, in line with company procedures.

"All reasonable steps have been taken to contain the spread of the virus and support and guidance is being provided by onshore doctors and occupational health professionals including NHS Grampian's Health Protection Team.

"As an additional precautionary measure we are reducing the number of non-essential personnel on the installation to limit further spread of the virus."

Norovirus, a illness which causes sickness, diarrhoea, fever and muscle aches, can spread quickly among oil workers as they live and work in close proximity.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesman confirmed Petrofac had contacted them about the outbreak.

He said: "HSE has been made aware of the situation by the duty holder. We are continuing to monitor the situation."

Scotland's Chief medical Officer Sir Harry Burns has raised fears recently of a particularly bad outbreak of Norovirus after it was discovered unusually early this year.

For more information on norovirus, visit the STV Health Centre, brought to you by NHS inform.

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