There has been a surge in infections from the virus this year, with more than 3,750 people being admitted to hospital with the virus and more than 4.5 million people thought to have flu symptoms.
In most cases, these symptoms don't require hospital treatment, but people with the virus can pass influenza on to people who may be vulnerable to infection.
The trust is now urging the public to help protect patients from the flu this winter by avoiding hospital if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Speaking after the trust's appeal, infectious diseases consultant Dr Bill Lynn said: “Influenza can be dangerous for patients who already require medical treatment.
“None of us would want our loved ones to be put at risk by the virus, and that's why we're asking for the public's support in stopping flu from spreading wherever possible.
“Please help us protect our patients by staying away from the hospital if you have two or more flu symptoms.”
The trust is asking patients who have a booked appointment to reschedule it if they experience two or more out of ten symptoms commonly associated with the virus.
Those planning to visit hospital to see friends or relatives are also asked to wait until they are symptom-free before coming in, except in an emergency.
A spokesman for the trust added: “Both measures help to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus, which can have serious consequences for patients who are already unwell enough to need hospital care.”
What are the symptoms of the influenza virus?
- Shortness of breath or a cough
- A headache
- A runny nose
- A sore throat
- Aching limbs
- Lack of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Stomach cramps
How do I treat the flu?
Dr Lynn added: “In most cases, the hospital isn’t the best place to care for someone with flu.
“It’s usually best to rest at home, stay warm, and drink plenty of water so that you keep hydrated.
“If you are concerned about being unwell, you should call 111 for advice or your GP surgery.”
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