THE HSE has announced that “in the interests of patient care and as a precaution” a full visiting ban is in effect at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
The blanket ban on visitations at the hospital has been put in place to in a bid to curb Norovirus - the winter vomiting bug.
Visiting to all wards at the hospital is prohibited with the exception of critically ill patients, but in no circumstances should anyone attempt to visit a critically ill patient without first contacting nursing staff, said the HSE in a statement this Thursday morning.
Parents and guardians only will be permitted in the Children’s Ark and children should be kept away from all areas of the hospital, it explained.
“The hospital regrets this inconvenience but it is necessary at this time to prevent the spread of these illnesses to both patients and staff. Where appropriate, mobile phone contact between families should be considered as an alternative to visiting,” said the statement.
The hospital is also asking the public that only genuine emergencies should present at the Emergency Department (ED) and that where possible people should consult their GP before coming to the ED.
The MWRH Infection Control Team said: “The vomiting bug is currently in the community and people may unknowingly bring the bug into the hospital when visiting sick relatives or friends.”
“We would appeal to the public to co-operate with the restrictions currently in place and advise anyone who have been affected by vomiting and/or diarrhoea, or anyone who has had contact with persons with these symptoms, not to visit hospital until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
“Patient care is our priority and we would urge the public to help hospital staff keep the virus at bay as it can further debilitate those who are already sick in hospital.”