A NATIONWIDE surge in cases of the flu is now affecting Newton Stewart Hospital – prompting a decision to halt admissions.

Transfers have also been suspended at the hospital due to four confirmed cases of flu today, and after specialist support and guidance was offered on site by NHS Dumfries & Galloway Infection Control Team. The situation is under constant review, and updates will be issued.

Nationally, Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison has acknowledged the impact of an ‘unprecedented’ combination of trauma cases and patients seeking help for flu-like symptoms, resulting in thousands of extra admissions.

And advice and reassurance is being offered locally on how best to deal with the flu.

Reassuring that the so-called ‘Aussie Flu’ is just another standard strain which has been seen before in Scotland, and that the flu can generally be managed on your own or with advice from a community pharmacist, Infection Control Manager Elaine Ross said: “It’s a case of taking simple painkillers to ease the aches and pains, and drinking plenty of fluids – make sure you avoid getting dehydrated.

“If you already have the flu we’d advise people to follow the message ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’.”

Elaine says it is not too late to contact your local pharmacist to be vaccinated against strains including the H3 N2 ‘Aussie Flu’.

And she said: “If you’re suffering from the flu, please don’t come into hospital to visit or go and visit your granny if she’s at home and poorly.”

Similarly, Newton Hospital are asking people to consider if they need to visit, and advising not to visit if they feel unwell or have any flu like symptoms.