Strict visitor restrictions being enforced at Cork University Hospital/Cork University Maternity Hospital due to Norovirus (vomiting bug)



Strict visitor restrictions are being enforced with immediate effect at CUH/CUMH due to an increased incidence of patients with suspected norovirus - commonly known as the vomiting bug.

Visiting times are restricted to 6.30pm – 7.30pm in both CUH & CUMH. One visitor is allowed per patient with strictly no children allowed to visit. Visitors are asked to please respect these restricted visiting times and the security staff at the hospitals are ensuring the restrictions are adhered to. While the out patients department and the emergency department are not affected, patients are asked to refrain from attending the hospital if they have been affected by vomiting and/or diarrhoea in the last 72 hours.

Visitors are also advised that they must use the Spirigel (alcohol gel) supplied as they enter and leave the hospital.

Geraldine Keohane, A/Director of Nursing, CUH said “We would urgently appeal to people who have been affected by vomiting and/or diarrhoea, or anyone who has had contact with persons with these symptoms, not to visit hospital until they have been symptom free for 72 hours. The bug is currently widespread in the community and people may unknowingly bring the bug into the hospital when visiting sick relatives or friends. Patient care is our priority and we would urge the public to help hospital staff keep the virus at bay as it can further debilitate those who are already sick in hospital,” explained Ms. Keohane.

Attendances to Emergency Departments are not advised if you are symptomatic. 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.

The vomiting bug known as Small Rounded Structured Viruses (SRSV) 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 sick. 

The virus is highly infectious and is spread by;

  • direct contact with vomit or diarrhoea           
  • from someone who is ill, especially if personal hygiene is not good
  • 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 and avoid visiting hospitals or nursing homes.   

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

Last updated on: 10 / 12 / 2008