A bacterial infection that has already caused the deaths of three infants in Belfast has been traced to the taps and pipes in the critical unit of the neonatal area at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast. Health Minister Edwin Poots commented on the situation earlier today.
Sky News reports that Poots said of the matter at hand that, thankfully, the bacteria was found in the taps and pipes and not the water supply, which would have been nearly impossible to contain.
Poots urged other patients of the RMJH that the facilities are operating as normal, and that expectant mothers should adhere to their scheduled appointments there.
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Five other children have traces of the bacterium on their skin, but have not fallen ill. The bacterium only becomes life-threatening when it enters the bloodstream which will cause chest and urinary tract problems. The five children are being closely monitored for the time being.
The infected taps and pipes are being thoroughly sanitized using “a vaporising machine to blow hydrogen peroxide gas into the evacuated wing of the sealed maternity unit, permeating bins, equipment and surfaces,” reports Sky News.
Last month, a strain of the bacterium also appeared at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital, claiming the life of one child, and infecting two others.
Here, watch a report from Sky news about the infection breakout at RJMH in Belfast:
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