Visitors with cold and flu symptoms are being asked to stay away from Southport and Ormskirk hospitals to prevent the bug’s spread.
Andrew Chalmers, the Trust Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “If you have a cough, cold or flu-like symptoms, please stay home and get well before you visit hospital. If your visit is absolutely essential, please call the ward in advance so our nursing staff can safely accommodate your visit.
“We have recently had a patient who was with us for some days before starting with symptoms of flu. The likelihood is this was passed on from a poorly visitor who came into close proximity with him. This could also pose a risk to other patients.
“Our main priority is to contain the flu virus and to protect all our patients and ensure they fully recover as soon as possible so they can return home to their family and friends.
“People can prevent the spread of flu by thoroughly washing their hands with soap and water – hygiene hand gels are also effective at keeping the flu virus at bay.”
Three different strains of flu are circulating in the community which spiking in severity at different times.
Latest figures from Public Health England show flu rates recorded by GP surgeries were 26.1 per 100,000 population and 34.5 per 100,000 in the North West.
Andrew advised people with a suspected flu virus, or family members suffering from one, to visit the NHS Choices website for information.
People are being reminded of the simple message to protect themselves and others from cold and flu this winter:
Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
CATCH IT – Always carry tissues and use them to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
BIN IT – Dispose of used tissues as soon as possible.
KILL IT – Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser following coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
The most up to date and comprehensive national information about flu is here.