Vomiting bug halts visiting at Clonmel hospital

Visiting restrictions are in place at South Tipperary General Hospital since Monday due to an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug at the hospital. The ban was imposed by hospital management from lunchtime on Monday in a bid to curb the spread of the infectious virus.

Visiting restrictions are in place at South Tipperary General Hospital since Monday due to an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug at the hospital. The ban was imposed by hospital management from lunchtime on Monday in a bid to curb the spread of the infectious virus.

South Tipperary General Hospital’s Deputy General Manager Mary Burke has appealed to the 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.”

She, in particular, advised anyone in contact with persons with these symptoms, not to visit hospital until they have been symptom free for 72 hours.

A HSE spokesman Fiachra O’Ceilleachair said about 10 patients at the hospital were suspected to have the virus.

He said visiting to all wards at STGH is prohibited apart from exceptional circumstances including critical care patients.

Visiting at the maternity/gynaecological units is restricted to partners or one designated person only.

Parents and guardians are only allowed visit patients in the Childrens Ward.

And strictly no children are allowed into the hospital as visitor.

“The hospital regrets this inconvenience but it is necessary at this time to prevent the spread of this illness to both patients and staff.

“Where appropriate, mobile phone contact between families should be considered as an alternative to visiting.

Mr O’Ceilleachair stressed that cancer, emergency and outpatient services will continue as normal.

He said the visiting ban is being reviewed on a daily basis.

The vomiting bug, also known as Norovirus, 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 but can it be quite debilitating in small children or older people who are already ill or infirm.