VISITING restrictions remain in place at University Hospital Limerick as the flu continues to infect people across the Mid-West, two weeks after the outbreak was first announced.
Just before lunch time on Wednesday, 14 cases of seasonal influenza were confirmed at UHL, and as a result, the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre has urged people in “high-risk groups to get vaccinated as the number of reported cases of influenza-like illness in Ireland has increased in the past weeks”.
According to a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group, the figures for the Mid-West are above the national baseline for influenza-like illness.
At-risk people include all those aged 65 years and older; children with chronic illness requiring regular medical follow-up; those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment; all pregnant women; those with morbid obesity; residents of nursing homes; healthcare workers and carer’s of those in risk groups.
Visiting is restricted to one person per patient during visiting hours only, 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm.
“Prior to Christmas, 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 added.
The Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains. Infected people may also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a dry cough. People are advised to stay stay in bed until your symptoms get better, with some symptoms lasting for up to one week.