Limerick hospital visitor restrictions over winter vomiting bug

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Norovirus
Winter vomiting bug

Strict visiting restrictions have been put in place at University Hospital Limerick following an outbreak of the norovirus winter vomiting bug.

As of noon today, there were three confirmed positive cases of norovirus at UHL with a number of other patients symptomatic.

A spokesman for the UL Hospitals Group said that because norovirus can be carried in to the hospital by patients or visitors, it is necessary to ban all visitors to Wards 3A and 1A at UHL.

“Elsewhere in the hospital, 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,” the spokesman added.

“Members of the public are reminded not to bring children on visits anywhere in the hospital. Parents visiting children are unaffected by the restrictions but are advised not to bring siblings.

“All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the virus. Patients are being isolated as appropriate and a number of beds have been closed to admissions in accordance with IP&C protocols. This is expected to impact on  bed capacity over the coming days as the situation is managed.

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“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.

“UHL has been experiencing a high number of patients attending the emergency department in recent days.  We have admitted a lot of seriously ill patients recently, many of who remain in the emergency department awaiting a bed.

“We are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep emergency department services for the patients who need them most.  For example, many patients with limb injuries can go to an Injury Unit in Ennis, Nenagh or St John’s Hospital.  Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John’s Hospital.