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Saturday 18 November 2017

Hospitals in Cork and Dublin restricting visitors over flu outbreak

St James’s Hospital was one of the nine hospitals
St James’s Hospital was one of the nine hospitals
(Stock photo)
St James Hospital, Rialto Gate

David Kearns

A second Irish hospital has now closed its doors to visitors this weekend as Mercy University Hospital in Cork said it has put restrictions in place due to an outbreak of influenza.

Yesterday, St James's Hospital in Dublin said it would not allow visitors this weekend due to an increased in the disease.

MUH announced it was doing the same “in the interests of patient safety, friends and family members of patients”.

“The situation will be continuously reviewed and the hospital is seeking the public's cooperation with the restrictions. The hospital will deal with exceptional cases on an individual basis," MUH said in a statement.

Read More: St James's hospital gripped by flu outbreak - visitor restrictions imposed

The hospital has said that its emergency department remains open, and that it was allowing access to the children's ward and critical care areas.

Both hospitals have advised anyone with flu-like symptoms to phone their GP in the first instance, rather than going to an emergency department.

"Friends and family of patients are kindly requested not to visit the hospital this weekend," said Patrick Plunkett, Medical Director at St James.

“The problem is that we've got a lot of flu in the hospital - we've got several wards with flu [and] our intensive care is affected by it. We're concerned that continued visiting will spread this.”

“We're not allowing any visiting at this stage in the hospital, other than for relatives of people who are in extreme state.”

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