HSE advices those who are sick to stay at home

The HSE has appealed to the people of Donegal to stay at home if they are sick.

There has been a rise in cases of the flu while COVID and RSV continue to do the rounds.

They say the rise in community infection rates will lead to a higher risk of outbreaks in hospitals, nursing homes and residential care facilities where those who are most vulnerable could be affected.

Tony Canavan, CEO Saolta University Health Care Group says Letterkenny University Hospital is currently managing nine outbreaks of respiratory viruses and very high attendances in the Emergency Department.

Those who visit the hospital will be required to practice good hand hygiene, use hand gel regularly and should wear a face mask.

More information:
Health Services in the North West are appealing to people in Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim to avoid socialising if feeling unwell and avail of vaccines if eligible, following an increase in respiratory infections and hospitalisations.

According to the latest data, flu cases have increased while COVID-19 and RSV continue to circulate in our community. Increasing community infection rates lead to an increased risk of outbreaks in hospitals, nursing homes and residential care facilities, potentially affecting the most vulnerable people. This rise in respiratory illnesses is leading to an increase in presentation to the emergency departments, which is likely to continue in the coming weeks. Significant work has taken place to support hospitals with the expected rise in attendances and admissions.

Dr Áine McNamara, Area Director of Public Health, Department of Public Health, HSE West and North West, says, “As expected, healthcare settings are extremely busy due to the unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the community. To protect yourself and others avail of COVID-19 and flu vaccines if you’re eligible, and stay at home if unwell. It is very important to avoid visiting vulnerable people, particularly those in healthcare and long-term residential settings, if unwell.”

It is not too late to get your vaccination, which can protect you and your loved ones, and help reduce the burden on the health service over the coming weeks. The HSE is urging every eligible person to get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 as soon as possible. People with long-term health conditions, healthcare workers (HCWs) and children aged 2-17 can avail of free vaccination. Flu and Covid vaccinations are available through GPs and pharmacies. See HSE.ie for more information.

Tony Canavan, CEO Saolta University Health Care Group said “Rising rates of flu and COVID-19 in the community are putting significant pressure on hospitals in the north west. Sligo University Hospital (SUH) and Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) are managing multiple outbreaks of flu, COVID-19 and RSV. LUH is managing nine outbreaks of respiratory viruses currently and SUH is dealing with four outbreaks. In addition to these pressures we are seeing very high attendances in the Emergency Department.

“At this time of year in particular people are keen to spend time with loved ones in hospital, but we are asking anyone who has a cough, cold, temperature, runny nose or sneezing to delay visiting until they no longer have symptoms. By staying at home you will help to prevent the spread of illness, protect those who may be more vulnerable to the effects of these infections and avoid impact on services at a very busy time of year.

“All visitors to the hospital will be required to practice good hand hygiene and use hand gel regularly, face masks are available throughout the hospital and should be worn.”

Dermot Monaghan, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo said “Depending on your illness, there are a number of treatment options open to you and we are asking that you chose the best method of care for you. Being prepared and knowing where to go means you can get treated more quickly and that will ease pressures on our acute hospitals and community health services. Consider using services such as your local pharmacy and your GP out of hours services before deciding to attend your Emergency Department. We would ask that you ring and book an appointment before attending your out of hours GP. However, if your symptoms are more severe and you can’t wait for an appointment with your doctor, consider your other options.”

Non-urgent illnesses – GPs

If you urgently need to see a GP outside of their clinic hours, you can contact your local GP out of hours services.
Caredoc GP Out of Hours Service, which covers Sligo, North Leitrim and the West Cavan area can be contacted on 0818 365 399.
NoWDOC GP Out of Hours Service which covers Donegal and South Leitrim can be contacted on 0818 400 911