Visiting restrictions remain in place at Limerick hospital after flu outbreak


Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh


Visiting restrictions remain in place at Limerick hospital after flu outbreak

STRICT visiting restrictions remain in place at University Hospital Limerick following an outbreak of the flu. 

On Tuesday afternoon, 10 patients were confirmed with seasonal influenza at the Dooradoyle facility. 

In response to this outbreak, the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre said it was urging people in “high-risk groups” to get vaccinated, as the number of infected patients in the Mid-West was “above the national baseline for influenze-like illness”. 

People identified as being part of this group include people aged 65 and older; people with chronic illnesses; those with lower immunity due to treatment or disease; all pregnant women; those with morbid obesity; nursing home residents; and healthcare workers working with people in this risk group. 

Visiting is restricted to one person per patient during visiting hours only, 2pm to 4pm, and 6pm to 9pm.

A spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group said on Tuesday evening: “In recent days, the hospital had advised visiting was limited to the critically unwell and to parents of sick children only. The restrictions have been amended in response to feedback from patients/families and in consultation with the infection prevention and control team.

“It remains imperative that people with flu symptoms and those feeling unwell in general stay away from the hospital at this time. Likewise, the under-16s are advised not to visit the hospital.

“We regret any inconvenience caused by the restrictions, which are being implemented in the interests of patient care,” the spokesperson said. 

Seasonal flu which is “highly-infectious” virus is a “very common” illness that occurs every year, between October and April. 

“The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains.

“You may also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a dry cough. You may need to stay in bed until your symptoms get better,” a spokesperson said.