Visiting restrictions are in place at Ennis Hospital following an outbreak of seasonal influenza.
As of 4pm on this Friday there were two confirmed cases of seasonal influenza in the hospital, with six further patients who are symptomatic and pending confirmation.
The Health Protection and Surveillance Centre has urged people in high-risk groups (see below) to get vaccinated against flu as the number of reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Ireland continues to increase.
UL Hospitals Group has asked that members of the public respect the current restrictions on visiting at Ennis Hospital. Visiting is restricted to one person per patient during visiting hours only (2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm).
People with flu symptoms, those feeling generally unwell and the under-16s are urged to stay away from the hospital at this time.
“We regret any inconvenience caused by the restrictions, which are being implemented in the interests of patient care,” spokesperson for the hospital group said.
High-risk groups are:
All those aged 65 years and older
People including children with chronic illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and diabetes
Those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment
All pregnant women. The vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy
Those with morbid obesity i.e. Body Mass Index ≥ 40
Residents of nursing homes, old people’s homes and other long stay facilities
Health care workers and carer’s of those in risk groups.
People in ‘at risk’ groups can get the vaccine for free in pharmacies, GP clinics and occupation health departments as they are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, and many end up in hospital.