A ROSS-SHIRE hospital has been closed to new admissions after a flu outbreak.
The County Community Hospital in Invergordon has taken the measure after a number of patients being diagnosed with flu.
Three patients have been confirmed with flu and others are "experiencing respiratory symptoms", NHS Highland said in a statement this afternoon.
All next of kin of patients at Invergordon have been informed.
NHS Highland is asking that visitors "are kept to an absolute minimum" with relatives and friends asked to stay away "unless in special circumstances".
The Royal Northern Infirmary, which was closed to new admissions on January 3 due to flu, has now reopened.
Visitors are asked not to visit the hospital if they have respiratory symptoms or symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.Raigmore Hospital still has visiting suspended due to flu. This will be reviewed at the end of the week.
Catherine Stokoe, head of infection control for NHS Highland, explained that we are now seeing evidence of flu spreading across the community and that it was everyone’s business to be flu aware.
She said: “Flu is certainly circulating in the community and with confirmed cases coming into more of our hospitals, as well as care homes reporting confirmed flu; we are keen to limit the spread as much as possible.
“Visiting remains suspended at Raigmore Hospital and it is now restricted in Invergordon. We are also asking that anyone visiting other hospitals across the area that it is limited to two visitors per patients, children under the age of 16 are not brought in to visit patients and anyone with flu or respiratory symptoms are advised to stay away.
“By restricting visiting to the affected areas it helps hospital staff protect the health, privacy and dignity of our patients. We really do appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding at this time.”
Complications of flu mostly affect people in high-risk groups, such as the elderly, pregnant women and those who have a long-term medical condition or weakened immune system.
The flu vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu and it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.
The advice issued by NHS Highland states: "People suffering with flu-like symptoms should cough or sneeze into tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu.
"Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu."