Flu outbreak at South Tyneside hospital leads to ward’s closure

South Tyneside District Hospital.
South Tyneside District Hospital.

A ward at South Tyneside main hospital has been closed to new patients after an outbreak of flu.

Nine patients on Ward 10 at South Tyneside District Hospital have shown flu-like symptoms over the last 48 hours.

Due to an outbreak of influenza on one of our medical wards, we have issued the remaining patients with Tamiflu as a precautionary measure

Michelle Arrowsmith

The 20 remaining patients on the ward have been given Tamiflu in an effort to prevent it spreading further.

The influenza has been restricted to one ward at the hospital, and it has been closed to new patients.

That has not affected the running of the ward as yet, as none of the existing patients have yet been discharged.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust has now urged the community to ensure they are vaccinated.

Michelle Arrowsmith, chief operating officer of the trust, said: “Due to an outbreak of influenza on one of our medical wards, we have issued the remaining patients with Tamiflu as a precautionary measure.

“We are aware that the vaccine being used this year has been very effective in the community to date.

“The tTrust continues to encourage all our staff and vulnerable patients to ensure they have the vaccination as a precautionary measure.”

The breakout of flu comes just weeks after a similar outbreak of norovirus at the hospital.

At its peak, 18 patients and 15 members of staff contracted norovirus, and visitors were asked to stay away from the hospital if they had suffered from the bug.

The norovirus outbreak started just before Christmas, and the illness, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, led to a ward being temporarily sealed off to stop it spreading. It was free of the bug in early-January.