RESIDENTS in Llanelli are strongly urged to avoid attending Prince Philip Hospital if they are showing any symptoms of infectious illnesses such diarrhoea, vomiting, fever or symptoms of flu, following the closure of two of our hospitals to visitors in as many weeks.

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Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced the closure of all wards to visitors at Glangwili General Hospital this week following a widespread outbreak of Flu and Norovirus, the latter having also led to the closure of Prince Philip Hospital earlier in the month.

Brett Denning, General Manager at Prince Philip Hospital, said: “With just over a week to go before Christmas, the last thing that anyone wants is to catch an infectious illness like Norovirus or flu – and that’s never truer than for our patients and staff.

“We recognise that at this time of the year there is a higher prevalence of nasty illnesses circulating in our communities which can have a very debilitating effect on people, so we are asking that anyone who shows any symptoms to ensure that you stay away from hospital until you’re symptom-free for 48 hours and that you follow good hand hygiene advice.”

Outbreaks of illnesses like Norovirus or flu can have a serious impact on patient flow through our hospitals and potentially result in beds being blocked to new patients until we can reopen the wards. Staff can also catch these illnesses, adding extra pressure at times when demand is already at its peak.

Sharon Daniel, Assistant Director of Nursing for Hywel Dda University Health Board added: “It’s important for anyone experiencing symptoms to follow simple hygiene advice. This includes washing and drying your hands thoroughly, especially after going to the toilet and before you handle food, to prevent infections from being passed on to others.

“If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there’s usually no need to visit your GP; you should just rest at home until you feel better, while keeping warm, drinking plenty of water, wash your hand regularly and take painkillers if necessary. You can also help stop the spread of infections by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious. And if you haven’t already done so, please get your flu vaccination as this is the single best way of preventing catching or spreading flu.”

For more information on staying well this winter please use the NHS Symptom Checker https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/selfassessments/ or call 111 to access NHS Direct Wales.

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