University Hospital Limerick enforces 'strict visitor restrictions' over measles outbreak

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

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Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

University Hospital Limerick enforces 'strict visitor restrictions' over measles outbreak

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has enforced “strict” visitor restrictions in light of the continuing outbreak of measles in Limerick. 

Restrictions had already been in place since late December, following the flu outbreak in the region. 

The UL Hospitals Group has confirmed that there is a small number of patients with measles being treated in isolation at UHL “and the hospital is taking all necessary precautions to contain the illness”. 

“However, the restrictions will remain enforced as a precaution in view of the ongoing outbreak of measles in the Limerick City area,” a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said. 

Last Wednesday, the HSE announced a measles outbreak following the detection of four cases in early January in the Limerick city area. 

“UL Hospitals Group is working closely with public health and community colleagues on the Outbreak Control Team set up to manage this outbreak.”

“Until further notice, it is necessary to restrict visitors to one person per patient only and to remind members of the public that visiting hours are from 2pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 9pm only and are to be strictly adhered to. This applies to adult and paediatric patients alike and parents visiting children are advised not to bring siblings on visits.

“We regret any inconvenience caused to patients and relatives by these necessary measures, which are being taken in the interests of patient care,” the spokesperson said. 

The HSE said that symptoms can include high fever; cough; runny nose; red eyes; red rash that starts on head and spread down the body; and vomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happen.

“It is imperative that persons with symptoms of measles (full list below) do not come to the Emergency Department at UHL seeking a diagnosis unless they are very unwell. They should in the first distance contact their GP (ideally by telephone)  and arrangements can be made to have symptomatic cases swabbed in their own home by public health staff. The clinical diagnosis will generally be made by the GP,” the hospital spokesperson said. 

He stated: “If attendance at ED is unavoidable due to pneumonia or any other serious sequelae of measles, it is imperative that such patients let staff at ED reception know immediately of any symptoms of measles. If patients have come into contact with relatives/neighbours with measles or suspected measles, they should let staff know as soon as possible so that they can be appropriately managed and other patients protected.”