Warning to “stay away” from hospitals in Lincolnshire after flu outbreak

People with cold or flu symptoms are being urged to stay away from Lincolnshire’s hospitals following an outbreak of influenza.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has said that hospitals in the county have experienced several cases of patients admitted who are incubating the infection after catching it in the community.

The H1N1 strain of influenza is the main seasonal flu virus and has been circulating for a number of weeks now.

For the majority of people, flu is unpleasant, but not a life-threatening illness.

However, it can be very serious for those groups at risk of developing complications including people with weakened immune systems, as well as those with underlying conditions such as liver, lung or renal disease, heart problems or diabetes, and pregnant women.

Anyone with symptoms has been asked to not attend A&E or visit the hospital until they are fully recovered, in order to protect vulnerable patients.

The trust has said that the best course of action for people with flu is to rest and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration.

Anyone concerned and in need of medical advice should contact NHS 111.

People in the at risk groups highlighted above can still receive a vaccination.

Michelle Rhodes, Director of Nursing at ULHT said: “We need the support of the public to keep our hospitals running and to protect vulnerable people.

“We urge people with flu like symptoms to not visit hospitals where viruses can often spread very easily. If people are concerned about their symptoms they should contact their GP for further advice.

“We continue to limit the number of visitors per patient to a maximum of two per bed space, in all but exceptional circumstances. Children aged 5 years and under should not visit the hospital.”