An outbreak of influenza has been reported on the Lancaster Suite (formally known as ward 39) at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI). The ward is currently closed to admissions.
Influenza can be highly infectious and can spread rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes.
Angela Richards, Infection Prevention Matron, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “Members of the public are being reminded not to visit the RLI, if they have been unwell, or had contact with a person, with Flu like symptoms in recent days.
“We understand it can be difficult when a loved one is in hospital. However, due to the Flu outbreak we are asking relatives and friends of patients on the Lancaster Suite at the RLI to stop and think whether it is absolutely necessary to visit their loved ones at this time.
If you do visit please ensure that you wash your hands when you enter and exit the ward, limit time on the ward, do not visit other patients or other areas of the hospital and avoid bringing children.
“Influenza can be spread through contact with an infected person, by contact with contaminated surfaces or by consuming contaminated food or water. This illness can be highly disruptive to patients, and on rare occasions it may lead to patients having surgery or other procedures cancelled. We would ask people to please follow our advice to minimise its effects on the hospital, themselves and their families.”
The spread of Flu can be reduced through correct coughing and sneezing etiquette. Ensure that you cough and sneeze into your elbow and not your hands. Use tissues and throw away when used.
It’s not too late for members of the public to receive their flu vaccination. Please check with your local GP or pharmacy for further information.
Find out more about flu at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx