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Vomiting bug sweeps the peninsula 09.01.08

INISHOWEN people have been advised to phone ahead before visiting vulnerable relatives in hospital as visits are restricted due to an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug. The peninsula has been badly hit this winter with colds, flus and the stomach bug leaving doctors' surgeries packed to overflowing and pharmacies reporting huge demand for cold and flu medication.
Letterkenny Hospital. Donegal's public health specialist Dr. Anthony Breslin urged people to protect themselves and others, particularly the elderly, children and hospital patients, against the winter vomiting bug.
"It can affect anybody of any age but it particularly affects the young and the elderly.
And if the young and the elderly become infected with it they develop the vomiting and diarrhoea and can become dehydrated very easily," said Dr. Breslin.
"It might last three or four days but people really know they're sick when they have it," he told Highland Radio yesterday.
Dr. Breslin confirmed that a number of community hospitals throughout the county had also been affected by the norovirus.
Carndonagh Community Hospital was assessing patients yesterday and urged people to visit relatives only if completely necessary.
Dr. Breslin added: "The hospital environment is an ideal environment for spreading the virus because people are very close together." He said staff at the affected hospitals including Letterkenny were implementing the strictest hygiene practises while ensuring that patients with the virus, where possible, were warded together and kept away from non-infected patients.
The health specialist urged people with the symptoms to restrict their food intake for the duration of the illness and to drink plenty of fluids including lemonade mixed with water to dilute the sugar.
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