Hospital ward closed due to vomiting bug

One ward remains closed this week at the west’s biggest hospital due to a number of suspected cases of the vomiting bug. (norovirus )

St Enda’s ward at University Hospital Galway continues to be closed. All other wards are open to admissions but are being monitored closely.

University Hospital Galway is asking people to comply with visitor restrictions in a bid to assist staff in curtailing the spread of the virus.

In a statement the Saolta University Health Care Group said it was imperative that only essential visiting takes place during this period. Children should not visit the hospital as they may be particularly susceptible to the illness.

“University Hospital Galway is asking visitors to co-operate with hospital staff who are ensuring the restrictions are adhered to and visitors are also advised that they must use the alcohol hand gels supplied as they enter and leave the hospital. Infection control procedures are in place on the affected wards and will remain so until further notice.

“There has been an increase in the number of cases of norovirus in the community and anyone with recent symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting or who has had contact with others who have these symptoms should not visit patients in the hospital to avoid spreading the virus to sick vulnerable patients. The hospital thanks the public for their co-operation.”

Patients with pre-planned hospital appointments such as outpatients, who have not had any symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea, should attend their appointments as normal, unless otherwise advised by the hospital.

The winter vomiting bug is a mild, unpleasant illness, lasts two to three days and is easily spread. The best treatment is to drink plenty of fluids, take paracetamol for the cramps and get lots of bed rest. Doctors say there is no need to take antibiotics because these will not be effective.

The most potent way of spreading the virus is by droplets after someone has been sick. Other ways are hand-to-hand - washing your hands is especially important if you have diarrohea - and the virus can also be carried on clothing. It can live on the coats, jackets and trousers, etc, of people who have been sick for a brief time, according to experts. The bug is community based and is brought into hospitals from outside.

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