Winter bug hits

Tipp people warned of visiting restrictions at Limerick hospital

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipp people warned of visiting restrictions at Limerick hospital

HSE has placed visiting restrictions at UHL

Tipperary people are being warned that strict visiting restrictions have been put in place at University Hospital Limerick following an outbreak of the norovirus (winter vomiting bug).

As norovirus is also currently in the community and can be carried into the hospital by patients or visitors, 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, according to the HSE.

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

The HSE said that as of noon this 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.

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 and cohorted as appropriate and a number of beds have been closed to admissions in accordance with IP&C protocols. This is expected impact on bed capacity over the coming days as the situation is managed, said the health agency.

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. People affected by the virus should drink plenty of fluids; maintain strict hygiene and because of the highly contagious nature of the virus avoid visiting hospitals or nursing homes. If symptoms persist, contact your GP by telephone and advise him / her of your condition before going to the surgery so as to limit the spread of the virus.