Visitor restrictions at UHL after vomiting bug outbreak

Restrictions in place Limerick hospital 'with immediate effect'

Visitor restrictions at UHL over vomiting bug outbreak

Visiting restrictions in place: University Hospital Limerick

STRICT visiting restrictions have been put in place at University Hospital Limerick this Thursday following an outbreak of the norovirus (winter vomiting bug).

As norovirus is also currently present in the community and can be carried in to the hospital by patients or visitors, the hospital has said it is necessary with immediate effect to restrict visiting at UHL to critically unwell patients.

Parents visiting children are unaffected by the restrictions but are advised not to bring siblings.

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

“As of 12 noon on Thursday (December 8) four cases have been confirmed and another five patients are symptomatic. In addition, a number of staff are on sick leave after reporting gastrointestinal symptoms.”

The spokesperson said that all infection control measures were in place and every effort was being made to manage and contain the spread of the virus.

Patients are being isolated and cohorted as appropriate and a number of beds have been closed to admissions in accordance with IP&C protocols.

The spokesperson added: “This is expected impact on  bed capacity over the coming days as the situation is managed.”

People with symptoms including abdominal pain and nausea; followed by diarrhoea and/or vomiting are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at UHL.

Visiting restrictions remain in place in Unit 5B, at UHL due to a number of confirmed cases of the Norovirus. This alert was announced on Wednesday evening.

A spokesperson for the HSE said: "All infection control measures are in place and the outbreak is being managed. In the interests of patient safety and in line with infection control procedures, there will be no visitors allowed on the Unit for a 24 hour period."

"The HSE regrets this inconvenience but would like to thank patients and the public for their cooperation. This restriction will be reviewed tomorrow when a further update will issue."