Hospital visitor restrictions set to end

Visitors to Dunstan Hospital are still subject to restrictions almost a week after an outbreak of influenza-like illness, but the situation is being reassessed daily.

The restrictions were imposed last Wednesday and the general ward remains closed to all visitors, except immediate family.

The aim was to contain the spread of a very infectious virus, after seven patients were admitted early last week with flu-like symptoms, at which stage six staff members were also affected, Central Otago Health Services Ltd general manager Karyn Penno said.

The health company runs the hospital and it was hoped the restrictions on visitors would stop the virus "in its tracks''.

Two more patients came into the ward at the weekend as a result of the flu-like illness and one tourist with symptoms was assessed but not admitted, Ms Penno said. A week after the initial outbreak, 19 staff members had contracted the flu-like illness.

All going well, restrictions on visitors might be lifted today.

It was unusual to have visiting restrictions in place for a week, but had the outbreak been of norovirus, for example, there would be tighter restrictions and no visitors permitted.

The illness itself was not a problem, but the complications arising from it were, she said.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter