Confirmed sources revealed that seventeen patients have been dead due to the infection of a hospital superbug at James Paget University Hospital. These patients have died after contracting Clostridium Difficile, commonly known as C diff, within the last four months.
It is also reported that few of the patients were infected with a virulent strain of the bug called as the '027' strain. Major bowel surgery had to be performed on five other patients who had contracted this bug and eleven patients are fighting their life battle against C diff now.
Severe cleaning of the hospital is underway and £400,000 has been spent on internal cleaning till now. Wendy Slaney, Chief executive at the hospital said that though it is a tough time for them at the hospital, they have employed all types of proactive measures to keep the disease in check. The C diff outbreak began last December at the hospital.
C diff is a species of bacteria present in the gut which can be aggravated by antibiotics resulting in the formation of toxins in the gut which can sometimes result in serious illness and death.
The common symptoms are diarrhea but in severe cases the person may have fever and stomach ache. It is not highly infectious but can be contracted by ingesting spores of the bacteria through the mouth. Cleaning the hospital with bleach is reported to have an abating effect on the bacteria.
Dr Ngozi Elumogo stated that they are currently working with local Primary Care Trust and GP's to spread the message that few antibiotics will be effective against C diff. Visitors to the hospital have been asked to stick to the visiting hours only. Alcohol gel in combination with water and soap should be used to clean hands.
C diff was first found out in 2002 after an outbreak at Quebec hospital in Canada. From then on, similar cases have been reported at hospitals in London and Leicester.