HSE warning; “steer clear of hospitals and GP surgeries”

WEXFORD GENERAL HOSPITAL

The HSE in the South East is urging the public to help prevent the spread of flu and norovirus by steering clear of hospitals and GP surgeries, so as not to infect others who may be very unwell already.  And if you are planning to visit family and friends in University Hospital Waterford, St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny, Wexford General Hospital or South Tipperary General Hospital that visitor restrictions may apply

In order to prevent the spread of flu and norovirus visitor restrictions are in place in many acute hospitals across the South East and the HSE also finds it necessary to implement visitor restrictions in many private nursing homes and public nursing Homes across the South East.

“What we call weather illnesses such as colds, sore throats, coughs and such like, are viral, self-limiting illnesses and can be treated with fluids and analgesia (painkillers),” said Dr Jacinta Mulroe, Specialist in Public Health medicine in the South East,” who added; “Most of these mild illnesses are viral and can be treated by yourself at home. Antibiotics will not work on a viral infection, including flu. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and take paracetamol or ibuprofen for temperatures, aches and pains.”

Dr Mulroe added; “If you have the flu, the advice is to stay in bed and rest, take fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms.  By venturing out to the GP or Emergency Department, you are not only putting your body through a stressful time, you are spreading the virus to people who may be in the at-risk groups. Only if you are in one of the at-risk categories, or you are an otherwise healthy person who is getting worse a week into the flu like illness, should you seek medical advice from your GP.  Remember, there will be sicker, immuno-compromised, and elderly and frail people at the surgery and in our hospitals, for whom exposure to flu could prove fatal, so think before your head out the door.”

Visit www.hse.ie/winter or www.undertheweather.ie for more advice and self-care tips for treating mild and viral illnesses.

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