Flu/ influenza cases prompt visit restriction at Wrexham hospital
Visiting at one hospital has been cut as health boards across Wales have reported increases in people with flu.
Officials said they wanted to reduce the risk of spreading the illness at Wrexham Maelor Hospital so they had cut all but essential visits to the site.
Cardiff and Vale health board said it had also seen an increase in patients with flu and respiratory conditions.
Public Health Wales said there had been a rise in cases with several strains, including one that affected Australia.
The latest published health report for the week before Christmas showed a Wales-wide increase for flu to 13.7 consultations per 100,000.
This compared with 8.7 consultations per 100,000 in the week before, and pushes the number of cases above levels normally expected for this time of year.
Winter flu: Should we expect the worst?
A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
Feeling tired or exhausted
Dry, chesty cough
Diarrhoea or tummy pain
Nausea and being sick
A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesperson said: “We are asking the public to help us prevent flu spreading and only essential visits will be allowed at Wrexham Maelor Hospital at this time.
“Visitors to all of our hospitals should follow any advice notices and guidance both for their own protection and to help prevent the spread of infection.
“Flu is circulating in communities throughout north Wales and this action will help us reduce the spread of infection and keep our patients and staff safe this winter.”
A Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokesman said: “We have seen an increase in patients presenting with flu and other respiratory conditions, together with a number of patients experiencing gastrointestinal problems, including norovirus.
‘Vaccine remains available’
“A small number of hospital beds have been closed to admission as a precaution.”
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said both the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport and Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall “remain under a great deal of pressure”.
Officials said the two hospitals had been dealing with “an unusually high intake of very poorly people, particularly with clinically significant respiratory illnesses”.
It also said it was seeing more cases of sickness bugs and it advised people to use other services such as Neath Port Talbot Hospital minor injury unit, GP surgeries and pharmacies.
Dr Richard Roberts, from Public Health Wales said: “The flu vaccine remains available and we would strongly advise that those aged 65 years and over, between six months and 65 years in risk groups and pregnant women who have not had their flu vaccine this winter, to make sure they don’t miss out and speak to their GP surgery or community pharmacy as soon as a possible.”