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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hospital ward closed to patients after flu outbreak

The Copeland Unit at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven has been closed today to admissions and visiting is restricted due to a flu outbreak.

Twelve patients and six members of staff are experiencing symptoms and unit has been closed to make sure the virus does not spread any further.

All patients and vulnerable staff groups have been offered the anti-viral Tamiflu.

The unit is designed for patients who have already been in hospital and need further care and rehabilitation before discharge. It is provided by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Joanna Forster Adams, deputy director of operations for Cumbria Partnership, said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. However this temporary closure to admissions will allow us to deal with the outbreak effectively and ensure patient safety.”

Dr Nigel Calvert is an associate director of public health for Cumbria.

He said: “Flu can be serious and cause serious health complications in people with existing health conditions. This includes children and adults with existing conditions from diabetes to cancer, pregnant women, where both mother and baby can be at risk, and people aged 65 and over.

"The best way people can protect themselves is by having the flu vaccine. It's freely available for people in at-risk groups and it only takes a few minutes, which is worth it to stop you getting what can be a nasty illness.”

If anyone has any questions or concerns about patients, call the unit on 01946 693181.

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