Swine flu outbreak in Cork University Hospital
One confirmed case of H1N1 flu virus, number of other patients displaying symptoms associated with illness
A consultant microbiologist at Cork University Hospital said the flu vaccine would be enough to protect people against the virus. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Cork University Hospital has put visitor restrictions in place following an outbreak of swine flu.
The hospital said it had one confirmed case of the H1N1 flu virus while a number of other patients were displaying symptoms associated with the illness.
A consultant microbiologist at the hospital said the flu vaccine would be enough to protect people against the virus.
Elsewhere, Beaumont Hospital in Dublin is continuing to advertise visiting restrictions put in place earlier this month as a preventive measure to contain an outbreak of flu, with visitors limited to coming between 6pm and 8pm.
Galway University Hospital has ongoing visiting restrictions due to an outbreak of the norovirus, or winter vomiting bug, and there are also restrictions in place at the University Maternity Hospital in Limerick.
Health protection surveillance
According to latest statistics from the Health Service Executive’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 34 confirmed cases of people hospitalised with flu in Ireland in the past week, bringing the total to 118 so far this flu season. There have been eight related deaths.
Cork University Hospital has put visitor restrictions in place and says it is continuing to monitor the situation around swine flu. Those experiencing flu-like symptoms have been asked to stay away from the campus.
“The H1N1 strain of the flu virus is one of three strains of flu that the seasonal flu jab protects against,” the hospital
said in a statement.
“It is important to realise that H1N1 is no different from other strains of flu in regards to the principles of creating a vaccine to protect against it.”
Dr Mike Henry, consultant respiratory physician at the hospital, said the condition is highly contagious and can seriously affect those with other, underlying illnesses.
“The outbreak sees emergency admissions and discharges from the hospital being affected, as patients with flu cannot be admitted to a ward or discharged to other healthcare facilities,” he said.
“We would appeal to people to strictly adhere to the visiting restrictions and not to visit any healthcare facility if they have any flu-type symptoms.”