Five patients in one ward in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, have been identified as having H1N1 Influenza infection. Outbreak control measures have been implemented within the hospital.
The hospital is following the national guidelines from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre which can be accessed at www.hpsc.ie.
Our Lady’s Hospital is appealing to the public to minimise visits - either to the Emergency Department or to see patients. They are asking anyone with flu like symptoms to contact their GP in the first instance and to not attend the ED unless it is an absolutely necessary.
The H1N1 flu virus, previously known as swine flu, is now a seasonal flu virus that circulates worldwide. The H1N1 strain has been included in the seasonal flu vaccine in Ireland since the 2010/2011 influenza season.
The following groups of at-risk people need to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza:
• Everyone aged 65 years and over
• Anyone over six months of age with a long term illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes or those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment
• Pregnant women
• Children or teenagers on long-term aspirin therapy
• Residents of nursing homes and other long stay facilities
The HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccine free of charge for all those in the at-risk groups.