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Winter bug sees children barred from Beaumont

CHILDREN have been barred from visiting Beaumont Hospital after an outbreak of the winter vomiting virus.

The outbreak has spread rapidly since the end of last week and is already affecting the majority of wards, the hospital said today.

Around 55 patients are displaying symptoms of the virus.

"Beds have been closed in the wards affected and the movement of staff between wards is being restricted whenever possible," a spokesman said.

Only "absolutely essential" visits are being permitted with only one person allowed to visit the patient.

"Genuine" essential visits may take place between 2pm to 4pm and between 6pm to 8pm.

"No children are being allowed to visit in any circumstances," the hospital said.

The numbers of elective and day-case procedures for today have been limited and affected patients have been informed.

"Outpatient appointments are not currently affected," Beaumont Hospital said.

It urged people who have the symptoms of winter vomiting virus, which include severe abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea, not to visit the hospital's emergency department.

"Norovirus is a self-limiting illness, usually lasting 24 to 48 hours and does not usually require medical treatment," the hospital said.

"People with these symptoms should take plenty of fluids and, if they are concerned about them, should contact their GP," it added.