A WARD at Gibraltar’s main hospital is in the grips of an ‘unexpected’ early flu outbreak, forcing health chiefs to review ‘infection control measures’, the local health service said.

The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA)confirmed the seasonal influenza outbreak at St Bernard’s Hospital in Europort on November 22, a little earlier than each other year.

Health chiefs once again warning the public not to visit sick friends and relatives at the either hospital wards or the Elderly Residential Services (ERS) homes.

They pointed out that anyone with cold or flu symptoms diarrhoea or vomiting should avoid the hospital or primary care centre altogether.

The warning is intended to stop the spread of the infection from the community to patients or residents who have a bigger risk of catching the flu, or other winter viruses like Norovirus or Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

While most might recover from these illnesses within one or two week, infants and elderly adults might become even more ill and need hospital treatment to fight the infection.

“The GHA has rapidly identified an influenza outbreak on one of the wards in the Hospital,” Director of Public Health Helen Carter said.

“This is not unexpected at this time of year because we are starting to see an increase in winter viruses including seasonal flu.”

She reminded families and friends they could take the flu jab if they wanted to decrease their chances of catching the flu.

“Even if you test negative for COVID you may have the flu,” Carter said.

“Please do not visit family or loved ones at the hospital or ERS if you have symptoms.”

And she said the new COVID-19 booster vaccines would soon be arriving, although the GHA ‘is still awaiting confirmation of the delivery date from the UK’.

COVID-19 killed over 110 people in Gibraltar, mainly during December 2020 and January 2021.


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