Public asked not to attend Department of Psychiatry, Kilkenny for any reason due to suspected vomiting bug

No restrictions are in place on rest of St Luke's Hospital campus

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

St Luke's Hospital

Visiting restrictions have been introduced at the Department of Psychiatry in the grounds of St Luke’s General Hospital

Visiting restrictions are in place at the Department of Psychiatry in the grounds of St Luke’s General Hospital in a bid to curb suspected cases of Norovirus - the vomiting bug.

The restrictions have been introduced in the interest of patient care and in order to curb the spread of the virus. There are currently no restrictions in other areas of St Luke's campus.

The public are asked not to attend the Department of Psychiatry for any reason. Anyone with any queries should ring 056-7785109. Visiting the Department of Psychiatry is strictly prohibited apart from in exceptional circumstances.

A statement from the Ireland East Hospital Group says that Carlow-Kilkenny/South Tipperary Mental Health Services regrets the inconvenience, but it is necessary at this time to prevent the spread of illness to both patients and staff at the Department of Psychiatry. Where appropriate, mobile phone contact between families should be considered.

Head of Service, South East Mental Health Service Liz Kinsella 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 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, 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

* 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

The Mental Health Service would like to reassure all concerned that visiting restrictions will be lifted at the Department of Psychiatry as soon as possible.