Flu outbreak prompts hospital visitor restrictions in CUH and the Mercy

Cork University Hospital: Restrictions due to a huge hike in numbers presenting with flu and a norovirus outbreak. Picture: Denis Minihane

Two major hospitals in the south of the country have announced visitor restrictions due to a major increase in the number of people presenting with flu and an outbreak of the norovirus —more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.

Cork University Hospital management issued a statement yesterday afternoon saying that due to an outbreak there, it was imposing the visitor restrictions with immediate effect.

The statement said that the move was being taken due to the number of patients who have presented with the norovirus vomiting bug.

The hospital said that in the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the virus within the hospital, it was necessary to ban visitors to Cork University Hospital from yesterday.

However, it stated that patients are requested to continue to attend the hospital for scheduled appointments and the situation is being kept under daily review.

People with flu-like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the emergency department at CUH.

Meanwhile, Mercy University Hospital said it has also been forced to introduce visitor restrictions after what it described as “a surge in the number of patients with flu-like symptoms presenting to the hospital’s emergency department”.

A hospital spokesman said visiting is now restricted in all areas of the hospital in the interest of patient safety with two exceptions:

  • Critically-ill patients will be allowed have relatives to visit, but will not be allowed more than two visitors at any one time.
  • Children can also be visited but only parents and grandparents may visit children in St Anne’s ward, with no more than two visitors per bed at any one time.

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