Five babies at the neo-natal care unit of Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney have tested positive for the anti-biotic resistant superbug MRSA.
The five babies have been quarantined and the hospital's New Born Care Center has stopped taking admissions until testing results are returned on Friday.
AdvertisementMRSA superbugs, short for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, are bacteria responsible for difficult-to-treat infections in humans.
Dr Bernie Hudson, senior staff microbiology specialist at the hospital, said none of the babies were ill due to the bacteria, but added precautions are being taken as it was still possible for the disease to be passed onto others.
He said it was not a panic situation at the moment. However, the hospital has said that babies needing intensive care before Friday will be taken to the nearest available hospital.
Dr. Hudson said it is possible for the antibiotic resistant strain to develop in hospitals. "I mean this is a fact of life in large hospitals now. The longer people stay in hospital and the sicker they are, the more likely they are going to get colonized by these multi-resistant bacteria, it's just a fact of life," he said.
Infectious diseases specialists are of the opinion that a lot more needs to be done to try and curb the rise in superbugs in Australia.
A study published this week in the Medical Journal of Australia revealed that simply increasing hand hygiene in hospitals could halve MRSA rates.