Following an infection control meeting this afternoon, the visiting restrictions at Letterkenny University Hospital have been extended.
From this afternoon, no visitors are permitted to visit the hospital other than in exceptional circumstances and following prior arrangement with the ward manager.
Seán Murphy, General Manager Letterkenny University Hospital, has again stressed the importance of the public adhering to the visiting restrictions at LUH.
“The number of patients attending the ED with symptoms of the flu is continuing to increase and we are reminding the public that we have implemented visiting restrictions across the hospital.
“We are appealing to people to cooperate with these restrictions so that we can protect the many very sick patients in the hospital.
We would like to emphasise that the public should not visit the hospital other than in exceptional circumstances and following discussion with the ward manager.
“While we know that this may be challenging for patients and their families, our priority must be protecting our patients many of whom are very ill and for whom the flu would be very serious,” he said.
Dr Anthony Breslin, HSE Specialist in Public Health Medicine added, “We are continuing to see a sustained increase in the number of cases of the flu in Donegal. These visiting restrictions at LUH are critical to help prevent further spread of this virus.
“Many of the patients in LUH are very sick and vulnerable to infection and it is critical that their care and treatment is not further complicated by the flu.
“The flu virus is an unpredictable virus and a healthy person will usually recover in 7 days, however it can be severe and can cause serious illness and death.
“Complications of flu include bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections and rarely acute encephalopathy (swelling of the brain).
“Serious complications of flu are more likely if you have a chronic medical condition or if you are aged 65 years or older. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of flu complications,” concluded Dr Breslin.