Ballarat Health Services (BHS) has closed a ward and unit in the Base Hospital following an outbreak of gastroenteritis.
The hospital says the gastroenteritis cases have been confined to Ward 3 North and the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit.
Enhanced infection prevention measures are in place and BHS has issued a statement asking visitors to take special care with washing their hands.
The two areas are temporarily not accepting new admissions, says BHS, following the guidance provided by the Department of Health and Human Services for the management and control of infectious diseases.
The situation is being monitored.
"This is a timely reminder to all our visitors that washing their hands before visiting loved ones in hospital is extremely important," a release from BHS said.
"Hand hygiene gel is available on all our wards. Just as importantly, they should avoid coming into the hospital if they are unwell. Gastroenteritis illnesses are very common in the community, especially at this time of the year."
The state government's Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for the treatment of gastroenteritis warns that 'in recent years, the number of gastroenteritis outbreaks in aged care facilities, hospitals and residential facilities has increased.
'Residents and patients of many of these facilities represent populations at high risk for gastroenteritis, who tend to experience greater severity and longer duration of illness.'
In these settings, transmission of disease may be complicated by close living conditions, shared bathroom facilities, low mobility and incontinence.'