Public health expert warns of meningitis risk as 62 patients wait for CUH beds

Public health expert warns of meningitis risk as 62 patients wait for CUH beds
Cork University Hospital. Picture Denis Minihane

MORE than 60 people were awaiting beds at Cork University Hospital (CUH) yesterday, with just two weeks remaining until nurses and midwives strike across Ireland.

CUH has been amongst the most overcrowded hospitals in the country since the beginning of 2019, and has seen more than 400 patients on trolleys, or in wards awaiting beds, since the turn of the year.

Sixty-two patients were awaiting beds in CUH yesterday, along with 14 at the Mercy University Hospital, and four more in Bantry General.

With specialists warning of an increase in the flu in coming weeks, CUH and MUH introduced visiting restrictions last week.

Twenty patients tested positive for the flu at CUH last week after two were hospitalised with a strain of swine flu in the past fortnight.

Meanwhile, public health specialist, Dr Fiona Ryan, has also warned of a possible increase in meningitis in the coming weeks.

“We also find that when we get a lot of flu in the community, that we do tend to see an increase in these diseases.

“At this time of year, we would expect to see an increase but nationally, there is concern that it is more than we would have seen last year,” she added.

“Locally, we haven’t seen that increase yet but, at this time of year, we are expecting to see an increase in Cork and Kerry in the coming weeks or months.

“We have seen an increase in flu in the community in recent weeks.”

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