Health authorities are concerned people are not paying attention to proper hygiene measures as another ward in Dunedin Hospital is closed from a suspected norovirus outbreak.
Yesterday a ward holding 18 people was closed after four of the patients succumbed to vomiting and diarrhoea.
Otago District Health Board infection prevention and control charge nurse manager Jo Stodart told the Otago Daily Times people who have had the virus or been in contact with people who had, must stay away from the hospital for 48 hours.
However, people who were so ill they needed to be admitted to the hospital should not stay away.
Mrs Stodart said the importance of thorough and frequent hand-washing could not be emphasised too strongly.
It is the third ward to close this week, with two closed to new patients and visitors after nine patients and three staff members fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea on Sunday.
At least one scheduled surgery was also postponed as a result of the illness.