VISITOR restrictions remain in force at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) this Tuesday as a result of the high incidence of flu in the Mid-West region.
The influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate has increased steadily since January with the rate in the MidWest double the national rate for the week ending February 17.
UHL currently has 19 confirmed and four suspected cases of influenza A .
Management and staff are working with their community colleagues to monitor, treat and contain instances of flu-like illness.
The UL Hospitals Group is asking people who are considering visiting a friend or relative at UHL to ensure they do not visit if they have flu-like symptoms.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Group said that the hospital always applies strict infection control practices and in particular during peak periods of community-acquired flu.
UL Hospitals Group has introduced a temporary restriction at UHL of one visitor per patient during the flu season and visitors are reminded that children under 14 are not allowed to visit. Visiting times are restricted to between 2pm and 4pm and between 6pm and 9pm.
The HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccine free of charge for all those in the at-risk groups which include:
- Everyone aged 65 years and over
- Anyone over six months of age with a long term illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes or those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment
- Pregnant women
- Children or teenagers on long-term aspirin therapy
- Residents of nursing homes and other long stay facilities
Those who have not got a vaccine at this stage are encouraged to make an appointment with their GP or Pharmacist as soon as possible as the vaccine covers the virus that is around at the moment.
Those showing symptoms of flu, should stay at home and get in touch with a GP if their condition worsens. Further information for managing flu symptoms can be found at http://undertheweather.ie/ailment/flu