Flu cases drop at South Tyneside District Hospital

South Tyneside District Hospital.

South Tyneside District Hospital.

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Health chiefs say cases of patients suffering from flu have dropped at South Tyneside District Hospital.

A small number of patients had contracted the virus at the hospital, in Harton Lane, South Shields, and patients in Ward 10 were ‘sealed off’ to control the spread of the infection.

Veronica Connell who has been a patient on the ward for more than a week was alarmed when she was given the antiviral medicine Tamiflu on Tuesday.

The 67-year-old from Jarrow was told she was unable to leave the ward, had to wear a mask and all visitors had also had to wear masks and aprons.

She said: “I am still in bay four where the flu restriction was lifted yesterday and three people went home.

“Bay three now has been closed.

“We were moved out of Bay four on Wednesday while they completely cleaned all of the area during most of the day and we were moved back in at tea time.”

Hospital bosses say there have been no new confirmed cases in the last few days and infection prevention and control measures remain in place where required.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director Dr Shaz Wahid stressed that there is no need for alarm.

He said: “We are in flu season and we have no more cases than we would expect at this time of year.”

Those who feel unwell and have a fever, can take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to lower their temperature and relieve aches.

Children under 16 should not be given aspirin. People are advised to stay off work or school until they are feeling better.