Visiting restrictions at Beaumont


Some 300 cases of the winter vomiting bug were recorded at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin over the past month, the hospital said yesterday.

While the number of current cases has reduced significantly, the hospital renewed its appeal yesterday for visitors to stay away.

Thirteen people at the hospital are still displaying symptoms of norovirus, a spokesman said yesterday. In mid-March 57 people at the hospital concurrently had the virus.

“While the peak of the outbreak does now appear to have passed, visitor restrictions are still necessary,” the spokesman said.

Some 60 staff and more than 240 patients have have been affected by the virus since the outbreak on March 9th, the hospital said yesterday.

The public’s heeding of visitor restrictions in recent weeks had “played an important role in our management of this outbreak,” the spokesman said.

He appealed to the public to not to visit the hospital unnecessarily over the Easter weekend.

He understood that “people may be keen to visit a close friend or relative in the hospital over the Easter holiday”.

However visits should only be made “if they really are essential” and this is restricted to one visitor per patient.

“No children are allowed to visit in any circumstances,” he added.

People infected by the virus are contagious from the moment they began feeling ill until two or three days after recovery. There are no specific treatment for the virus apart from sipping clear fluids.

The bug is caused by a group of viruses called noroviruses and accounts for approximately 90 per cent of gastroenteritis epidemic outbreaks around the world. It is the most common cause of stomach infection in Ireland.

The best method of prevention is to observe good hygiene, including regular hand-washing after toilet visits, as well as before and after meal times.