University Hospital Galway has appealed to the public not to visit the hospital if they are feeling unwell or have respiratory symptoms following a flu outbreak at the hospital.
UHG is currently dealing with a flu outbreak on one ward with COVID-19 impacting a further four wards.
Visiting to the affected wards will be facilitated on compassionate grounds, on an exceptional basis only.
To arrange a visit on compassionate grounds, please contact the ward manager in advance.
Chris Kane, Hospital Manager said they are appealing to people to extend their COVID-19 vigilance to the flu.
“If people have symptoms of flu, we are asking that they do not visit the hospital,” she said.
“Testing negative for Covid does not mean you don’t have flu. We are asking people not to visit the hospital in an effort to prevent the spread of the flu and to protect the many very sick patients here in the hospital.
“Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. Serious complications of flu are more likely if you have a chronic medical condition or if you are aged 65 years or older.”
Ms Kane said that while this may be challenging for patients and their families, the hosptal’s priority must be protecting patients, many of whom are very ill and for whom the flu would be very serious.
Anyone carrying the flu virus can spread it for 1-2 days before developing symptoms and up to 5 days after symptoms develop.
Flu is more severe in people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, and anyone with a long-term medical condition.
It is not too late to get a flu vaccination and the HSE is urging people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated. The best way to avoid getting the flu is to get vaccinated.