Complete ban on visiting in place in South Tipperary General Hospital

In the interests of patient care and as a precaution, a full ban on visiting is in place at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel from 3.30pm today Tuesday, June 26, in a bid to curb suspected cases of the Norovirus (vomiting bug).

In the interests of patient care and as a precaution, a full ban on visiting is in place at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel from 3.30pm today Tuesday, June 26, in a bid to curb suspected cases of the Norovirus (vomiting bug).

Visiting to all wards at South Tipperary General Hospital is prohibited apart from:

• Exceptional circumstances, which includes critical care patients.

• Maternity/Gynae visiting is restricted to partners/designated person only.

• Parents/Guardians will only be permitted to Childrens Ward.

• Strictly no children allowed visit the hospital.

South Tipperary General Hospital regrets this inconvenience but it is necessary at this time to prevent the spread of these illnesses to both patients and staff. Where appropriate, mobile phone contact between families should be considered as an alternative to visiting.

Cancer Services, Emergency Services and Outpatient Services will continue as normal. The situation is being kept under daily review. Patients coming to Outpatient Services (Clinics) are requested to bring their appointment letter with them.

The hospital is also asking the public that only genuine emergencies should present at the Emergency Department (ED) in South Tipperary General Hospital and where possible that people should consult their GP or Caredoc service before coming to the ED.

Ms. Mary Burke, Deputy General Manager, South Tipperary General Hospital is asking the general public for their co-operation with the visiting restrictions and reiterated how important it is for patients that these infection control measures are respected:

“The vomiting bug is currently in the community and people may unknowingly bring the bug into the hospital when visiting sick relatives or friends. I would appeal to the public to co-operate with the restrictions currently in place and advise anyone who have been affected by vomiting and/or diarrhoea, or anyone who has had contact with persons with these symptoms, not to visit hospital until they have been symptom free for 72 hours. Patient care is our priority and we would urge the public to help hospital staff keep the virus at bay as it can further debilitate those who are already sick in hospital.”

The vomiting bug known as Noro-Virus usually causes short-lasting outbreaks of abdominal pain and nausea followed by diarrhoea and/or vomiting. It is usually quite mild and rarely causes severe problems, however it may be quite unpleasant and debilitating in small children or older people who are already ill or infirm.

The virus is highly infectious and is spread by:

* direct contact with vomiting or diarrhoea

* from someone who is ill, especially if personal hygiene is not good

* from the air around someone who has just vomited

* from contaminated food

People affected by the virus should drink plenty of fluids; maintain strict hygiene and because of the highly contagious nature of the virus avoid visiting hospitals or nursing homes. If symptoms persist, contact your GP by telephone and advise him/her of your condition before going to the surgery so as to limit the spread of the virus.

Tips to avoid the bug:

*Wash hands carefully

*Clean surfaces with diluted household bleach

*Do not share towels

*Wash towels on hot cycle of washing machine